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[July 17, 2020] Four Hours of Visitation Required Starting July 17, 2020 - IHCA

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[July 17, 2020] Four Hours of Visitation Required Starting July 17, 2020

Posted Jul 17, 20202 min Read

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On July 16, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced that the Visitation Guidelines issued on June 29th would not be modified, and per the guidelines, starting Friday, July 17, 2020, long-term care facilities must provide:

  • At least four (4) hours of visitation each day Monday through Friday.
  • At least four (4) hours of visitation each weekend.  The four (4) hours of visitation each weekend can be scheduled for one day of the weekend or can be split over the weekend.
  • The four (4) hours of visitation may be a mixture of indoor and outdoor visitation.
  • These guidelines apply to all long-term care facilities, including nursing facilities and licensed assisted living communities.

However, the visitation waivers will not be updated at this time to allow for exceptions.  Long-term care facilities are not required to provide four (4) hours of visitation Monday through Friday and over each weekend if:

  • The long-term care facility has had a new facility-onset COVID-19 case in the past fourteen (14) days.  If a long-term care community has several buildings (i.e., a nursing facility and assisted living community on the same campus), if a new facility-onset COVID-19 case only occurs in one of the buildings, the other buildings may continue with visitation if they are not connected (i.e., via a hallway).  ISDH has stated that a breezeway does not mean the buildings are connected.
  • The county in which the facility is located or the local health department has otherwise restricted visitation.  If the county or local health department has only restricted indoor visitation, outdoor visitation would still be required under the Visitation Guidelines, unless weather prevents outdoor visitation.
  • Importantly, ISDH has also stated that a facility may impose stricter visitation limits than set out in the Visitation Guidelines if the facility determines that the limits are clinically necessary due to increased COVID-19 cases in the facility or surrounding community, and the facility notifies and consults with ISDH about the facility’s specific situation and concerns before imposing the stricter visitation limits.

Long-term care facilities that are interested in imposing stricter visitation limits should contact Matt Foster at mfoster@isdh.in.gov and/or Brenda Buroker at bburoker@isdh.in.gov before imposing the stricter limits.