Wallis, Bowens, Averhart & Associates, PLLC

How Will Covid-19 Restrictions Affect North Carolina Long-Term Care Facility Residents?

Are you unsure how new Covid-19 restrictions / regulations will affect a loved one in a long-term care facility such as a skilled nursing, rehab, assisted living, adult care, or group home facility?  The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a number of guidelines for facilities.  It is important to note that these are guidelines, not rules or laws.  Ultimately, it is up to each facility to decide whether to allow certain practices.  You may have to speak to officials at the facility your loved stays at to determine if something will be allowed.  Here are some key materials from the list of guidelines:

  • Facilities with six beds or fewer have been issued specific guidelines.  You can read them here.
  • Facilities with seven beds or more have been issued specific guidelines.  You can read them here.
  • If you wish to visit a family member at a long-term facility, you will probably have to visit them outdoors, wear personal protective equipment, and observe other safety measures decided by the facility. Facilities are advised to have their own supplies of personal protective equipment, sanitization equipment, and other safety equipment.
  • The guidelines advise facilities not to allow more than two visitors at a time.
  • The guidelines do not address whether facilities should allow residents to leave the facility and come back. You may wish to bring a loved one who is living in a long-term care facility to your home for the weekend, and then return them for the week.  However, it is up to the facility to decide whether to allow this.  It will be very difficult for long-term care facilities to ensure the safety of their staff and other residents if this is allowed to take place.
  • You can access guidelines for people living with disabilities here and here.
  • Guidelines for Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Group Homes are available here.
  • You can access guidelines for transferring hospitalized patients back into long-term care facilities here.

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