Basic Facts if you are ready to have a visit in a nursing home, assisted living facility, home plus, residential health care facility or boarding care home in Kansas
- First you need to know your COVID-19 County Positivity Rate. Call your local public health department or visit their website to find out, or on the KDHE website, visit https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/160/COVID-19-in-Kansas and scroll down and click on the gray box that says nursing home metric.
If your County’s COVID positivity rate is:
- less than 5%, you can visit indoors.
- 5-10%, you can visit outdoors.
- 10+%, you can visit by phone or video/skype/facetime.
- Ask the facility administrator or nurse which facility staff person is scheduling visits and how to contact that person. Ask what days and times visits are possible.
- Ask the facility to email you or direct you to where on their website you can see their visitation policy and contact information for the staff person who can answer questions about their policy.
- If you are denied a visit, ask why.
- If the answer is not based on a specific disease prevention reason: call the KDADS hotline at 1-800-842-0078 to report that your request for a visit was denied and why.
- If you need help advocating for a visit, you can find your local Long Term Ombudsman at this website or call for help. Website: https://ombudsman.ks.gov/contact-the-office Toll Free Phone Number 1-877-662 -8362
Remember – Adults living in a facility
- have the right to visit with anyone they want to visit with,
- have the right to VOTE,
- have the right to say how/when/with whom they want visits to occur, and
- facility staff have a duty to help make visits possible for residents.
Everyone Wants to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
If visits are in person, the following things should be done for safe visits: Before entering…
- The facility should screen every person who enters. Screening includes taking your temperature, asking questions about how you are feeling/if you have any symptoms. No one who has a raised temperature or who has symptoms should be allowed into the facility.
- Wear a Face covering or mask.
If you pass the screening…
- Use alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.
- Stay at least 6 feet or more away from any one else, including the person you are visiting.
- If the visitor does not follow the facility’s posted visitation guidelines, he/she can be asked to leave. Guidelines should be posted in many places in the facility, and easy to see.
- May not restrict visitation without a reasonable clinical or safety cause.
- Must give the resident the help he/she needs/requests to visit.
- Tell residents and families what type of visits (indoor, outdoor, phone/video) are possible based upon the COVID-19 County positivity rate.
- Support Compassionate Care Visits, no matter the COVID-19 County positivity rate.
- May choose specific doors visitors can use to enter and areas where visits will happen.
- Must post throughout the facility what visitors are required to do to help stop infection spread. The rules should be clear and meant to lower the risk of infection for persons who live and work at the facility, as well as for visitors.
- Must clean and disinfect areas frequently touched and any area used for a visit after each use and before another visit can happen.
- Staff must wear face masks (cover nose & mouth), and may need to wear gloves and gowns or other Personal Protective Equipment to prevent the spread of infection to you or a resident.
- Have an area separate from other residents for residents who have COVID-19.
- Provide a private space for a visit to occur (indoors or outdoors). Allow resident and visitor to have private conversations away from staff and other residents.
Compassionate Care Visits
- Can occur in-person anytime and are not limited by the Community Positivity Rate.
- End of life visits, and for residents on hospice.
- Compassionate Care Visits can also be scheduled to address residents experiencing distress (physical or emotional). For examples see https://www.kdads.ks.gov/docs/default- source/covid-19/ach-data/visitation/visitation-guidance-for-long-term-care-pdf?sfvrsn=d3bc01ee_2.
- Individuals are to stay six feet apart during the visit. If exceptions are allowed for personal contact, it will be for a short time during the visit and with protective coverings.
Window & Outdoor Visits
For more specifics about limits on these visits, see the KDADS guidance on visitation at: https://www.kdads.ks.gov/docs/default-source/covid-19/ach-data/visitation/visitation- guidance-for-long-term-care-settings.pdf?sfvrsn=d3bc01ee_2