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⭒ New Developments

Long Term Care Facility Visitation Lockouts Due to COVID Outbreaks – Are They Legal?

Despite the ongoing pandemic, in-person visitation is mandatory in California long term care facilities.  However, a number of facilities are shutting down all in-person visitation indefinitely when a staff member or resident tests positive for COVID-19.  Generally, these visitation lockouts are illegal.

The only time a facility may temporarily shut down in-person visitation is when a local public health authority has directed that visitation be stopped or in nursing homes under very specific circumstances outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The current visitation rules in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are summarized here.These rules apply, regardless of COVID outbreaks in a facility.

If you or your loved one’s facility is locking out visitors due to an outbreak, or for any other reason, ask the facility management what rules they are following that permit the lockout and provide the facility with CANHR’s visitation summary.  If the facility persists in an unauthorized lockout, file a complaint with the state Department of Public Health and explain that the visitation lockout is an “immediate jeopardy” violation.  If CDPH is not able to restore visitation at the facility within 72 hours of your complaint, contact CANHR and let us know.