Yesterday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Secretarial Order No. 6 regarding “Visitation for Long-term Care Facilities”. Since the start of the COVID-19 state restrictions in March, Southminster has adhered to the guidance of “No Visitors” within Embrace Health. These restrictions were put into place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in health care facilities across North Carolina. What these restrictions did not account for was the emotional toll and sense of isolation that would be placed on our most vulnerable populations who live in health care facilities. To address this issue, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) updated its guidance to assist facilities in managing in-person visitations by family members in their loved one’s health care residence, which is included in the Secretarial Order. These guidelines take into account outbreak timeframes, county positivity rates, testing intervals and facility size. Visits are mandated to be coordinated by the facility administration, assuming criteria is met, with limited movement of non-residents in public spaces and hallways. We feel that this is a much needed first step in meeting the needs of our Embrace Health residents during this turbulent time.
Effective Monday, October 5th, scheduled visits for Embrace Health residents will begin. Information on how to schedule these visits will be sent out under separate cover from Ben Bumgardner, Embrace Health Assistant Administrator.
Finally, so that there is no confusion for residents in Independent Living (IL), the “No Visitation” policy inside the main building, Terraces and Cottages is still in effect. As a reminder, accommodations have been established throughout the exterior of the campus for family visitations, and all IL residents have the ability to navigate on and off the campus as needed. A task force has been established to develop a plan to fully reopen our campus in a safe and efficient manner. Feedback on these plans will be delivered when we move into Phase 3 of the Governor’s reopening plan, or sooner if updated guidance permits.
Thank you and God bless.