Benton & Franklin County Long-Term Care facilities are in Phase 1

Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities 


Long-term care facilities serve vulnerable populations that are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Residents’ age and health status put them at greater risk for severe COVID-19 complications and potential death. COVID-19 can quickly spread in congregate care settings. 

Benton-Franklin Health District has been working with these facilities throughout the county to ensure strong infection control guidance, availability of testing, and other measures to identify cases and minimize the spread of disease and protect these vulnerable populations. 


Current Visitation Phases [Click to enlarge]

LTC Phasing


Definitions
Essential Support Person (ESP)-  An individual 18 years or older who, prior to visitor restrictions, was regularly engaged with a resident to provide companionship and/or assist with activities. These individuals advocate for a resident’s needs and support them in managing their health, healthcare, long-term care and overall well-being.

Compassionate Care Visits- Not limited to end-of-life situations, also includes ESP visits for residents who are struggling with change in environment and lack of physical family support, under emotional distress and resident grieving the loss of a loved one.
 

Limited Indoor Visits - Visit in designated area, scheduled with facility

Normal Visitation - No restrictions

Outdoor Visits - Limit of 2 visitors per day, include masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene in designated outdoor accessible area


Remote Visits - Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc.

Window Visits - Closed window visit to be scheduled with facility


How do the phases work?
Long-term care facility phase status is based upon the general Safe Start plan, but takes additional factors into account. Those additional factors include current COVID county case rate (or disease burden), facility access to testing and personal protective equipment, and virus activity within the facility. 

  • Facilities will be held to Phase 1 if the local COVID case rate per 100,000 residents over 14 days exceeds 150. See current case rate here. 
  • To reach Phase 2, the local COVID case rate threshold is 25-75 per 100,000 residents over 14 days. 28 days must have passed since the last positive or suspected client was identified within the facility. Adequate staffing, PPE, cleaning supplies, local hospital capacity are also required. 
  •   To reach Phase 3, the local COVID case rate threshold is 10-25 per 100,000 residents. 28 days must have passed since the last positive or suspected client was identified within the facility. Adequate staffing, PPE, cleaning supplies, local hospital capacity are also required.
  • To reach Phase 4, the local COVID case rate must not exceed 10 per 100,000 residents. 28 days must have passed since the last positive or suspected client was identified within the facility. Adequate staffing, PPE, cleaning supplies, local hospital capacity are also required.
  • Note: facilities may not move beyond their county's Safe Start Phase. Full guidance for each facility type is below in the Resources tab.


What is allowed in each Phase and the requirements to transition into next Phase for LTC facilities
The facility or agency cannot move into the next Safe Start for LTC phase until the county is approved to move into the next Safe Start Phase. The facility or agency must then meet the Safe Start for LTC phase criteria before moving forward.

For example, facilities located in counties in Safe Start Phase 1, cannot move beyond phase 1 of the Safe Start for LTC plan until the county enters Safe Start Phase 2 or greater and the facility meets the LTC phase criteria.

The LHJ or DOH have the authority to return a facility to more restrictive operations in response to any infectious disease and/or COVID-19 outbreak by imposing non-essential visitor restrictions and services defined by the Governor’s Safe Start Plan. 

Recent updates to LTC Safe Start plan:

Below is a brief summary of the changes that were made to the Long Term Care Safe Start plan, these changes are effective as of February 01, 2021.

 NOTE: Each of these changes have additional requirements attached that must be met before implementation. Before introducing any of these services back into to your facility, please read through the updated LTC Safe Start Guidelines (link opens new window).

  1. The compassionate care definition has been expanded to include a designated Essential Support Person (ESP). The ESP needs to be designated by the resident and must be the only one visiting under compassionate care guidelines.
  2. Allowing beauticians/hairdressers/barbers and nail technicians back into facility with the condition that the number of clients receiving this services is reduced to allow for safe social distancing.
  3. Communal dining is now allowed for non-COVID positive residents. Facilities will need to arrange for appropriate social distancing measures.
  4. Group activities are now allowed with modified activity restrictions.
  5. No Indoor visitations are allowed under Phase 1*, only outside and virtual visits can take place at this time.

*  Exceptions will be made for compassionate care situation and Essential Support Persons.

In order to get the full details of the updated LTC Safe Start guidance please see the links below and read information from the DOH as it pertains to each type of facility, click here.

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