COVID-19: State bans visits to nursing homes, residential group homes

The Oregon Department of Human Services has issued a ban on visitors to all licensed long-term care facilities as well as residential group homes to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Exceptions apply for medical and emergency personnel and visitors to residents who are in the end of life.

The Oregon Health Authority and DHS have determined that, given the increase in COVID-19 cases, these additional restrictions are essential to protect those at greater risk of the most severe outcomes of this disease.

“To effectively stop the spread of this disease, we must take every action possible to slow the rates of infection, especially to individuals for whom COVID-19 is life threatening,” said OHA director Patrick Allen.

The new all-visitor restrictions apply to:

  • Nursing facilities;
  • Assisting living facilities;
  • Residential care facilities;
  • Adult foster homes; and,
  • Group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We know that these restrictions are a hardship for residents of care facilities as well as their families and friends, but they are essential to mitigate the spread of disease,” said DHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We encourage facilities to use technology to help residents maintain connections with their families and loved ones.”

The restrictions on all visitors are effective immediately; they follow a policy launched March 10th that limited visitation for long-term care facilities.

OHA continues to recommend that older adults and people with underlying conditions take the following steps to stay safe and healthy:

  • Minimize contact with people who may be ill.
  • Avoid community gatherings.
  • Order prescriptions by mail.
  • Take daily precautions: wash your hands frequently, don’t touch anywhere on your face, and clean surfaces.

Links to updated visitation policies:

Developmental Disabilities Services

http://www.dhs.state.or.us/policy/spd/transmit/pt/2020/pt20028.pdf

Aging and People with Disabilities Long-Term Care

https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/PROVIDERS-PARTNERS/LICENSING/AdminAlerts/DHS%20Long-Term%20Care%20Covid-19%20Visitation%20Policy%203-16-2020.pdf

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