On March 20, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released revised guidance to prevent and control COVID-19 in Long Term Care Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities. This revision is based on the knowledge that older and medically vulnerable adults have a significantly higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.
Facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel. DHS expects facilities to notify potential visitors of the need to postpone visitation until further notice.
End-of-life cases have been identified as an exception in which visitors will be allowed but limited to a specific room only. Further guidance is provided in the memo revised guidance.
- Cancel communal dining and all group activities.
- Implement active screening of residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Remind residents to practice social distancing and perform frequent hand hygiene.
- Screen all staff at the beginning of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Identify staff who work at multiple facilities and actively screen and restrict them appropriately.
- Review and revise all interactions with individuals entering the facility, such as vendors, delivery drivers, agency staff, EMS personnel and equipment, transportation providers, and other non-health care providers. Take necessary actions to prevent any potential transmission.
- Offer alternative means of communication such as virtual communications for residents and their visitors.