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IDH Announces CDC COVID-19 Data to be Utilized for Testing & Visitation - IHCA

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IDH Announces CDC COVID-19 Data to be Utilized for Testing & Visitation

Posted Feb 17, 20212 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical
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On February 17, 2021, the Indiana Department of Health (IDH) announced that going forward, nursing facilities should utilize the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker to determine a facility’s county positivity rate for the facility’s routine testing frequency.  Further, all long-term care facilities (i.e., nursing facilities and assisted living) should utilize the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker to determine a facility’s county positivity rate for visitation purposes.

Additional information and items for consideration are as follows:

  • Website Navigation:  After landing on the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker webpage, select “Indiana” under the “Select a State” drop-down menu, and then select the applicable county under the “County or Metro Area” drop-down menu.
  • Schedule:  All long-term care facilities should continue to check their county positivity data on the same schedule they previously set out for testing and/or visitation.  For example, if a facility checked CMS’s data every Monday to determine routine test frequency and/or whether indoor visitation is permitted, the facility should check CDC’s data every Monday going forward.
  • Documentation:  For survey purposes, each long-term care facility should maintain a weekly log of the county positivity rates and information related to the data source used (i.e., going forward, the source should be the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker)).
  • Visitation:  At this time, IDH’s visitation guidelines have not changed, regardless of whether a resident or a visiting loved one is fully vaccinated.  The visitation guidelines require long-term care facilities to provide at least four hours of visitation daily, unless:
    • There has been a new facility-onset COVID-19 case within the past 14 days;
    • The facility is in a county above 10% positivity; or
    • Local officials have otherwise restricted visitation.
    • Please Note:  Even when indoor visitation is restricted, Essential Family Caregivers may continue to provide services, and indoor visitation can occur for compassionate care situations.  Further, indoor visitation may resume immediately upon a county dropping below 10%, as long as a facility is not currently in an outbreak and local officials have not otherwise restricted visitation; unlike with routine testing, the county positivity rate does not need to be below 10% for two weeks before visitation can resume.