ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan on Friday said nursing homes in Maryland would begin to allow limited outdoor visits, communal dining, and small group activities with proper precautions in place.
While not required, officials strongly recommend there be no more than two visitors at a time per resident.
The state is also now requiring nursing home staff to be retested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Residents meanwhile will be retested weekly, only if new cases are reported to be transmitted within the facility.
Currently there are active COVID-19 cases in 107 of the state’s facilities.
Facilities will have to follow the below listed prerequisites before any changes go into effect.
- The facility must not be experiencing an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, defined as one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member.
- Absence of any facility-onset COVID-19 cases within the last 14 days. If a new case is detected, the facility shall return to the highest level of mitigation (pre-Phase 1) and begin again.
- No staffing shortages and the facility must not be under a contingency or crisis staffing plan
- Universal source control is in place, requiring all residents, staff, and anyone else entering the facility to wear a face mask or cloth face covering at all times while in the facility.
- Staff must have access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Nursing homes must be able to conduct COVID-19 testing among residents and staff at sufficient frequencies.
The following nursing home restrictions will remain in place and not be relaxed at any time during the reopening process.
- Facilities must continue to screen all people who enter the facility, and screen all staff at the beginning of each shift.
- Facilities must continue to screen all residents at least daily, including performance of temperature checks, pulse oximetry checks, observing for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and asking questions about signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Facilities must continue to dedicate space for cohorting and managing care for residents with COVID-19 separate from the general population. Additionally, facilities must continue to dedicate space to quarantine new admissions and readmissions in private rooms for 14 days for the purposes of monitoring these residents for the development of signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
- All staff must wear appropriate PPE, including use of procedure or surgical facemasks (i.e. not cloth face coverings) when they are interacting with residents.