MAY 15, 2020
The top priority at this point with COVID-19 is to prevent the virus from entering our assisted
Given the high case fatality rate in elderly over the age of 80 with preliminary data showing it at 15% or greater. Evaluations from prior viral epidemics that spread like COVID-19 found that actions taken early in outbreaks can significantly reduce the spread of the virus. Waiting until the virus in spreading in the community is often too late. As such, AHCA/NCAL strongly recommends the following actions to help prevent the entry of COVID-19 into your facilities regardless of whether your surrounding community has confirmed cases.
1. Limit entry to only individuals who need entry.
2. Restrict activities and visitors with potential for exposure.
3. Restrict individuals who have respiratory symptoms or potential COVID-19 exposure out
of an abundance of caution.
4. Require all staff entering the building to wash their hands upon entry and encourage all
essential visitors do so as well.
5. Set up process to allow remote communication for residents and others.
We recognize that assisted living communities are committed to providing a home-like environment for their residents, many of whom are high functioning, mostly independent individuals. In addition, assisted living settings vary in size, scope of care, and policies. In certain assisted living communities, residents are able to enter and exit the building freely and family members may have unlimited access to the community to visit at any time. We also recognize that many assisted living communities have multiple entrances without any receptionist or a receptionist at limited times, which may make it challenging to monitor entry at all entrances and at certain times of day.
However, due to the very serious impact COVID-19 will continue to have on our elderly population and those with underlying conditions, we are recommending that you evaluate your current visitation policies to determine whether some of these best practices could be implemented at your communities. Because of the diverse nature of assisted living, each community must focus on steps they are able to enact now to mitigate COVID-19 in their communities.