Dear Residents, Friends, and Family Members,

On Thursday September 17th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo (QSO-20-39-NH) with updated guidance on visitation in nursing homes. This memo is intended to provide reasonable ways for centers to safely facilitate in-person visits.

As you know, nursing homes across the country have been severely impacted by COVID-19
which has required aggressive actions by healthcare providers to mitigate the spread of the virus within the centers. These actions have drastically changed everyday life for staff and residents within our centers as our world navigates to recovery from this pandemic. Since visitations were suspended March, our communities have diligently worked to keep residents engaged and connected with their loved ones through alternative ways. The centers increased engagement on social media, coordinated drive-by parades or window visits, and others received enhanced technology to allow for smooth video chats with families. Although there are many ways to stay in touch and express love, we believe there is no comparison to in-person connections, especially the healing nature of a simple hug or touch of a hand.

CMS Memo QSO-20-39-NH is the first step to opening our doors and outdoor spaces to you
and comes with many requirements and exceptions. The next step is to receive guidance from the state agencies. We have been in contact with the state agencies in which we operate (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia) and are expecting state specific guidance in the coming week. Until then, our center specific visitation rules remain the same and we will continue to prepare for this next phase.

We are excited for the opportunity to develop safe and practical measure for visitation and look forward to welcoming you back into our centers soon. If you have questions, concerns or comments regarding the updated guidance, please contact your facility administrator.

For a copy of CMS Memo QSO-20-39-NH click HERE.



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