Long-term care facilities approved to begin limited outdoor visitation


Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

By Patrick Phillips | September 15, 2020 at 11:55 AM EDT - Updated September 15 at 12:18 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Nearly four dozen nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the Palmetto State have met minimum requirements required to allow limited outdoor visitation, including 12 in the Lowcountry.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released a list of 41 facilities that can met the requirements Tuesday. Here are the Lowcountry facilities listed:

  • Somerby of Mount Pleasant
  • Blake at Carnes Crossroads (Goose Creek)
  • Magnolia at Summerville
  • NHC Healthcare Bluffton
  • Cooper Hall at The Palms of Mount Pleasant
  • Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina (Summerville)
  • Inlet Coastal Resourt Assisted Living and Memory Care (Murrells Inlet)
  • Harmony at West Ashley
  • Benton House of Bluffton
  • Fraser Health Care (Hilton Head)
  • Benton House of West Ashley
  • Summit Place of Daniel Island

Gov. Henry McMaster and state health officials announced the guidelines at a news conference on Sept. 1. They require a facility must meet every item on this checkllist before limited visitation would be allowed:

  • Screening of residents for any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection with documentation is occurring at least daily and for staff at the start of each shift.
  • Facility has adequate staffing and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Facility must provide their written plan for limited outdoor visitation to DHEC’s Healthcare Quality division.
  • There have been no cases among staff and residents identified in the facility within the last 14 days.
  • For a nursing home, testing must be occurring per CMS requirements before visitation may begin at the facility. Community residential care facilities (and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities who are recommended to follow these guidelines) may begin visitations before testing is in place, but testing as described in the CMS requirements for nursing homes must be occurring within 30 days from when these Guidelines for Outdoor Visitation are issued.

The plans state that the following triggers would temporarily suspend visitations:

  • If one or more cases are identified in residents and/or staff members, visitation must be suspended until CMS testing protocols are completed. Visitation may resume if fewer than three total cases have been identified.
  • If three or more cases are identified in staff members and/or residents within a 14-day period, visitation must be suspended. Visitation may resume 14 days after the identification of the last case.
    • Note: A resident that previously tested positive and now retests positive within three months of original positive test, is not considered a new case. It is unknown at this time whether an individual can be re-infected. This guidance may be updated as more information is learned on viral persistence and risk for reinfection.
  • For a nursing home, if testing is not occurring per CMS requirements, visitation must be suspended. For a community residential care facility (or an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities who are recommended to follow these guidelines), testing as described in CMS requirements for nursing homes must be occurring within 30 days from when these “Guidelines for Outdoor Visitation” are issued, or else visitation must be suspended until testing is in place and criteria are met.

Here is the full list released by DHEC of facilities that can now offer limited outdoor visitation:

Reviewed Outdoor Visitation...byLive 5 News

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