The Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) released guidance on how to safely begin in-resident room and in-apartment family visitation with our fully vaccinated residents. We are pleased to now offer our fully vaccinated families the option to schedule in-resident room and in-apartment visits with their loved ones.
Please note that in-resident room and in-apartment visits are contingent on the status of COVID-19 cases in the residences. Per regulations, we are not allowed to have in-resident room and in-apartment visitation if a resident or staff member tests positive within a unit. If in-resident room and in-apartment visitation is suspended, every effort will be made to accommodate outdoor visits, weather permitting, or to reschedule visits as quickly as possible.
Who is allowed to receive in-resident room or in-apartment visits?
Residents who are fully vaccinated (14 days after their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine) AND who either do not have a roommate OR have a roommate who is fully vaccinated may receive in-room or in-apartment visits. Residents with active or suspected COVID-19 infections as well as any residents who are symptomatic or under quarantine will not be able to receive any in-person visitors.
Who can visit residents in their rooms or apartments?
Family visitors who are fully vaccinated (14 days after their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine) may visit residents in their room or apartment. Family visitors must confirm their vaccination status including date of their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to entering the residence. Please note that only 2 people can visit a resident at a time. No children or pets are allowed.
When can in-resident room or in-apartment visits occur?
Eligible family visitors are allowed to enter the building during designated times each day when staff are available to screen visitors, typically between 10 am and 6 pm. They may stay as long as the resident would like them to, though we kindly ask that all family visitors exit the residence by 8 pm. For visits outside these specified hours, accommodations can be made with advance notice.
Will family visitors undergo screening?
Eligible family visitors must confirm their vaccination status including date of their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to be allowed in the building for in-room and in-apartment visits. This must be confirmed at every visit, no exceptions. Eligible family visitors must also pass a temperature check and screening questionnaire at the start of the visit. Family visitors must fit the following criteria to be able to visit:
- Do not feel ill
- Free of symptoms of COVID-19 infection including fever ≥ 100.0° F, shortness of breath, sneezing, chest pain or pressure, cough, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell, chills, uncontrolled shaking, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Come from households without COVID-19 symptoms listed above
- No close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 15 days
What is the protocol before and during the in-room or in-apartment family visit?
Upon entry into the residence, family visitors may be provided a visitor badge that they must display prominently while in the building. They will also be given a mask. Visitors must wear a mask at all times while in the building. Drinking and eating are allowed while in the resident’s room. Family visitors must proceed and stay in the resident’s room at all times or as directed by staff. Use of common areas on the unit is prohibited.
What happens if there is a positive case of the virus in the residence?
Per regulatory guidelines, indoor visitation of any kind is not allowed when there is an outbreak, defined as at least one positive case of a staff member or resident. Weather and temperature permitting, an alternate location outdoors may be available. If we are unable to hold a family visit, we will be in contact to let you know and help you reschedule.
What happens if a family visitor develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 within 2 days of visiting?
All family visitors must contact the residence if they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 within 2 days of visiting, per regulatory guidelines. They must be prepared to state the date of their visit and any individuals in the residence they were in contact with during that time.
My loved one has not been fully vaccinated and/or I have not been fully vaccinated. What can I do to stay connected?
For those who are not able to have in-resident room or in-apartment visits, we strongly encourage you to schedule a supervised indoor family visit or a family video call using our website at https://jgslifecare.org/schedule-a-time/. Virtual visits will continue to be available to our residents and families.