On July 22, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) issued several clarifications to the Visitation Guidelines via a LTC Newsletter, as follows:
- Excursions: The Visitation Guidelines permit excursions of residents if proper precautions are taken (i.e., social distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene). ISDH has clarified that the term “excursion” means out-of-facility trips lasting less than one day. The term does not include medical appointments, which are addressed separately in the Visitation Guidelines. However, excursions can be added to a medical appointment if the entire outing can be completed within one day, such as a resident dining with a family member prior to returning to the facility if proper precautions are taken. Transmission-based precautions are not required when the resident returns if the Guidelines are adhered to, but the facility should monitor the resident for symptoms.
- Weddings and Funerals: ISDH has clarified that the Visitation Guidelines on weddings and funerals—which state that residents may attend such events if the facility assures the event will provide infection control precautions for the resident, and the facility instructs the resident to wear a facemask, social distance, and perform hand hygiene—do not only apply to weddings and funerals per se. The Visitation Guidelines on weddings and funerals also apply to other major life events that may have similar importance to a resident, such as a significant family birthday celebration or an end-of-life visit to a loved one outside of the facility. However, ISDH clarified that although not explicit in the Visitation Guidelines, the Guidelines do not authorize overnight stays or longer absences for funerals, weddings, or other major life events. Transmission-based precautions are not required when the resident returns if the Guidelines are adhered to, but the facility should monitor the resident for symptoms.
As a reminder, these Visitation Guidelines and corresponding clarifications apply to both nursing facilities and licensed assisted living communities. If you have any questions, please contact Lori Davenport at Ldavenport@ihca.org.