In adherence to communication from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the subject of “Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes,” Bethesda is restricting visitors (except for end-of-life resident visits) to its skilled nursing (nursing homes) and assisted living communities until otherwise indicated by CMS.
In addition, Bethesda is restricting all external visitation to our independent living (retirement) communities per recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in accordance with the Stay-at-Home order authorized by St. Louis County and St. Louis City.
On April 2, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health issued a new order for Residential Living Facilities that not only reinforces the current visitation policies outlined here, and includes specific restrictions related to leaving the facility. For more information and to review the order, click here.
We empathize with families and visitors, but our primary commitment is to the health and safety of our residents and staff, and therefore are adhering to these guidelines, issued by CMS and CDC, regarding visitor restrictions.
In communication dated March 13, CMS advised that NO VISITORS (except those conducting end of-life visits) WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE SKILLED NURSING AND ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES.
Individuals wanting to conduct an end-of-life visit must be able to answer “NO” to the following CMS-recommended criteria before they will be allowed into the skilled nursing or assisted living community:
- Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
- In the last 14 days, has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or under investigation for COVID-19, or are ill with respiratory illness.
- International travel within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission. For updated information on affected countries, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Residing in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.
In addition to the implementation of the no-visitation policy, the following practices are currently in place at Bethesda’s independent living (retirement) communities:
- Residents are being asked to practice social distancing.
- All communal dining and activities have been cancelled; however, resident meals are still being provided, and will be delivered by staff to those who cannot or should not pick up meals in the dining room.
- Families wanting to deliver groceries or medicine to a resident should contact the General Manager.
- All transportation services are restricted at this time.
We appreciate your understanding and compliance with these restrictions regarding visitation and entering these resident communities. If you have any further questions, please call the management of the resident community in which you seek information.
To review the CMS recommended guidelines regarding visitation restrictions at skilled nursing and assisted living communities, click here.
To review the CDC recommended guidelines regarding limiting visitation in independent living communities, click here.