Reopening America’s nursing homes to visitors is of critical importance as many residents continue to sustain severe and potentially irreversible consequences from lack of human contact, especially with family caregivers. The CDC nursing home guidelines published as of June 2020 are confusing and lack detail with respect to visitors and essential family caregivers. While the evidence concerning COVID-19 is still developing, some of the practical issues facing nursing homes were clarified by convening an expert panel and formulating guidance that begins to balance the well-being and self-determination of residents and their families with the very real public health concern of preventing nursing home outbreaks.
How we manage the reopening process to maintain a safe environment is key. We need to stay informed, understand what the CDC recommends, stay on top of CMS guidance, and stay current with our local health department statistics. There is a great study published by JAMA that may be of help to your center in developing your plan, remember, baby steps! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, stay tuned!