To Fast or Feast

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

How to Handle Covid Thanksgiving:

  • Residents in isolation should stay in isolation and not leave the center except for hospitalization
  • Residents in a facility with an outbreak need to be sure the family is aware and is advised not to take the resident out of the center
  •  Discuss the risk/benefit of taking the resident LOA with families and request that they sign an acknowledgment of risk
  • Explain the requirement for isolation of resident (for 14 days) upon return and CMS’ recommendation against residents leaving the facility.
  • No matter where you are or what you are doing:
    • Social distance (at least 6 feet, 2 arm lengths apart) 
    • Practice hand hygiene; soap and water or hand sanitizer  
    • Mask when not eating
    • Host outdoors if weather permits
    • If hosting indoors, open windows for ventilation
  • Concerns with virus on clothing:
    • Have residents doff their clothes in an anteroom on return to the center and don clean clothing
    • Bag and launder clothing
    • Talk about their day and dinner
  • Quarantine for 14 days after potential exposure from the gathering:
    • Remind family to report to facility anyone  who becomes ill or positive from COVID
  • Staff  who are getting together with families:
    • Screen self – call work for symptoms and stay home if sick
    • Provide an N95 (if available) and PPE for 14 days post-event while at work
    • Self-quarantine for 14 days if any exposure
  • Test both residents and staff as a screen and always if symptomatic

*Residents who have been diagnosed and recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, may have less risk based on CDC guidelines however the same precautions should be followed.

Please visit the below links for great information from CMS and the CDC about how to stay safe during Thanksgiving:

CMS Holiday Recommendations: Alert to nursing homes, residents, and representatives of residents for recommendations should a resident choose to leave the nursing home to visit loved ones.

CDC Celebrating Thanksgiving: Comments from the CDC regarding travel, what to do if you choose to travel, how to make Thanksgiving safer, and suggestions for alternative Thanksgiving activites.

CDC Everyone Can Make Thanksgiving Safer: Direct link to shareable Thanksgiving infographic with recommendations on how to make the holiday safer.