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Limited visitation for assisted living communities now allowed

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Wed, Jul 15th 2020 10:15 am

ESAAL working closely with member-assisted living communities across New York state to prepare for safe visitation

By The Empire State Association of Assisted Living

The Empire State Association of Assisted Living (ESAAL) has been leading New York assisted living communities in advocating for outdoor visitation, and is pleased the Department of Health has finally allowed indoor and outdoor visitation across the state.

“As the leading voice for our members in assisted living communities across New York, it was vital that ESAAL work closely with the NYS Department of Health to push for safe visitation,” Executive Director Lisa Newcomb said. “Now, our job is to provide our membership with the needed clarifications, guidelines and tools in order to move forward in the most safe and sound manner.”

The benchmarks for an approved visitation plan are designed with rigorous safety protocols to protect residents and staff. Communities must present their plans to the Department of Health prior to opening for visitation. There are strict limitations on the number of visitors at any given time.

According to state officials and the Department of Health, some of the conditions assisted living communities must follow include:

•The community must have no new confirmed resident or staff COVID-19 positive cases in a 28-day period.

•Assisted living communities must have their infection control surveys (inspections) complete and be in substantial compliance.

•All visitors will be screened prior to seeing the resident, and all visitors must produce contact information to be used for contact tracing should it be needed.

•Masks and social distancing are still required of all visitors and residents during the visits.

•Any visitor who has traveled internationally or to a U.S. state that is part of the DOH’s travel advisory should not visit an assisted living community until at least the 15 day after their return.

“It won’t be easy for all assisted living providers to reintroduce visitation given some of the restrictions, but they are committed to give it their very best, because they understand the psychological importance of the family-resident bond,” Newcomb said.

Empire State Association of Assisted Living is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening New York's assisted living sector and promoting the best interests of providers and residents. Founded in 1979, ESAAL is the only association that exclusively represents the assisted living industry, serving 300 assisted living residences, adult homes, enriched housing programs and assisted living programs throughout the state. These member residences are home to more than 30,000 seniors.

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