While taking a person-centered approach and adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, outdoor
visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19*. Outdoor visits
generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. Therefore, visits should be held outdoors
whenever practicable. However, weather considerations (e.g., inclement weather, excessively hot or cold temperatures,
poor air quality) or an individual resident’s health status (e.g., medical condition(s), COVID-19 status) may hinder
outdoor visits. For outdoor visits, facilities should create accessible and safe outdoor spaces for visitation, such as in
courtyards, patios, or parking lots, including the use of tents, if available. When conducting outdoor visitation, all
appropriate infection control and prevention practices should be adhered to.
*Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks
following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine, per the CDC’s Public Health Recommendations for Vaccinated
outdoor or visitation is still preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However,
Facilities should allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents (regardless of vaccination status), exceptfor a
few circumstances when visitation should be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission (note: compassionate
care visits should be permitted at all times). Indoor visitation should only be restricted based on the chart below:
March 4 2021
The following guidance for all long-term care settings should be used in conjunction with facility policies, relevant CMS guidance and requirements, as well as CDC recommendations. This means that visitation may look different throughout the state and throughout facility types and is dependent on many factors include the size of the facility, ventilation, number of staff and residents, room sizes within the facility, county positivity rates etc. Each facility should thoroughly read through all applicable guidance, determine, and implement an appropriate for visitation policy for their facility. All visitation must occur according to the “Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention.
Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
1.Screening everyone entering the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks,questions or observations about signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms.
2.Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred).
3.Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose).
4.Social distancing at least six feet between persons, 12 ft for those who cannot wear a mask due to medicalcondition.
5.Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms,infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
6.Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areasafter each visit
7.Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
8.Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated COVID-19 care)
9.Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR 483.80(h) (see QSO-20-38-NH and New Mexico StateGuidance)
Indoor Visitation Plan
Outdoor visits remain the preferred visitation method. Visitation should only occur indoors when weather does not permit outdoor visits. Indoor visitation must meet the following requirements:
1.There has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing;
2.Visitors should be able to adhere to the core principles and staff should provide monitoring for those who may have difficulty adhering to core principles, such as children;
Facility must ensure the designated visitation room is large enough to maintain appropriate social distancing and must limit the amount of visitors based on the size of the designated room;
- Facilities must limit the duration of each visit to 1 hour;
- Visitors are restricted from walking around the facility and can only go into the designated visitor room and immediately following the visit, must leave the facility through the designated exit; and
- Visitation should occur ideally occur in a well ventilated room. Facility should get an HVAC assessment certifying the appropriate ventilation. If the building does not have an HVAC system, then look to open windows if/when possible to allow in outdoor air.
After the Visitation
Instruct visitors to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 after their visit. Any individual who enters the LTCF and develops signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (as outlined above) within 5 days after visiting must immediately notify the LTCF. The visitor should inform the facility of the date of their visit, the individuals (both residents and staff) they were in contact with, and the locations within the facility they visited. Long-term care facilities should immediately screen the individuals who had contact with the visitor for the level of exposure.
When can our facility have visits?
the COVID-19 county positivity rate, found on the https://cv.nmhealth.org/long-term-care-guidelines/ website to determine the allowable visitation.
Visitation Process Requirements
Facilities must establish and maintain a schedule of visitation.
Facilities must have a process for screening all visitors for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors for exposure prior to visitation (see details in section below).
Locations for visitation (both indoor and outdoor) must be designated beforehand, and these locations must allow for at least 6 feet of space consistently between all visitors, staff, and resident at all times.
Facilities must have adequate staff present to allow for safe transit of residents to the designated visitation location, in-person monitoring of visitation, and environmental cleaning and disinfection after visitation.
Safe transport means that the resident should wear a facemask to prevent viral shedding and cannot be transported through any space where residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are present.
Monitoring visits is required and should be performed by a staff member trained in patient safety and infection control measures. Staff should be close enough to ensure compliance with visitation policy but also allow for privacy.
Facilities should develop a process to inform and educate residents and visitors about the necessary precautions and periodically monitor visits for compliance.
Facilities must have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide residents, staff, and visitors (who do not arrive with a cloth face covering) with a surgical facemask during the visit and during transit to/from the visitation site.
Facilities should demarcate spaces for people to sit in the visitation area (both indoors and outdoors) and people may not move closer to each other while visiting. No physical contact is allowed. Mobile visitation (i.e., going on a walk or drive together) is not allowed.
Staff must carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with them to the visitation.
Staff, resident, and visitor(s) must sanitize their hands before and after visitation, and after any touching of face or face covering/mask.
Facilities must clean and disinfect all touched surfaces prior to and after each visit.
Facilities must maintain a visitor log with contact information for all visitors (indoor or outdoor visitors) to enable accurate public health contact tracing should there be a need.
Facilities are also encouraged to inquire prior to visits if the visitor is coming from a county with “high” positivity
rate, and encourage visitation to occur when the county has a lower positivity rate.
Third vaccination clinic postponed until 3/08/2021
Third vaccination clinic to be held next week.
We are happy to announce that we have completed our first round of vaccinations here at Taos Living Center. We have vaccinated a majority of Residents and staff. We expect to conduct another clinic in one month.
December 09, 2020
We have resumed window visitation at the Taos Living Center. If you would like to schedule a window visit please call 575-758-2300 and we can add you to the schedule.
November 24, 2020
To the Community of Taos,
We are continuing to navigate these difficult times. The Taos Living Center is continuing to surveillance test non-positive residents and staff using PCR testing. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a chemical reaction harnessed to detect and identify trace bits of DNA, from the COVID-19 virus. This form of testing is performed weekly and processed by Tricore Laboratories.
We are continuing to administer a Point of Care (POC) test to any resident or staff member who is suspected of having Covid-19. Point-of-care (POC) tests, such as some rapid tests for diagnosing infectious disease, provide results within minutes of the test being administered, allowing for rapid decisions about patient care.
We have had 11 residents test positive this week. TLC has a total of 34 active cases. Many of our residents are recovering from the virus. We are continuing to battle this virus. With great sorrow, 7 more of our beloved residents have lost their battles with COVID-19.
Taos Living Center has established a bereavement hotline that is staffed by chaplains 24 hours per day. This service is provided free to the community.
If you have any comments or questions that we have not addressed, please feel free to contact me.
Dave Armijo Administrator
November 17, 2020
To the Community of Taos,
We want to start by thanking you for the tremendous support we have received. We are continuing to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a relentless disease . Despite following CDC guidelines, 49 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Many are on the road to recovery.
Nevertheless it is with great sorrow to inform you that 7 residents have lost their battle with COVID-19.We have had 37 members of our team test positive for COVID-19, 12 of whom have recovered.
To help with the recovery we have increased the level of licensed physical and occupational therapists in order to provide a higher level of care during these times. We have also onboarded 3 new registered nurses. We continue to work hand in hand with Holy Cross Medical Center through to coordinate care. Holy Cross had graciously provided nurses to help provide a higher level of care for our residents.
We are very thankful for the team approach that Holy Cross has taken during these times. We would also like to recognize the great work by Ems first responders and than them for their constant support. We would also like to thank KOKOs for donating lots of goodies for our night crew and Ms. Whitney Lake for making some delicious posole and Dr. Marshall for donating pizza to keep our frontline caregivers going. We all appreciate it very much.
Rest assured we are committed to the care of our residents as always; and will operate with transparency and gratitude for our community. If you have any comments or questions that we have not addressed please feel free to contact me.
Dave Armijo Administrator
November 16 , 2020
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials on Friday announced the state of New Mexico will temporarily re-enact a statewide order closing in-person services for all non-essential activities in order to blunt the unprecedented spike of COVID-19 illnesses and to attempt to relieve dramatically escalating strain on hospitals and health care providers across the state. The heightened restrictions statewide, enacted through an amended emergency public health order issued by the state Department of Health, will be in effect for two weeks.
November 10, 2020
To the Community of Taos:
Our constant goal is to serve and protect our residents. As the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacts all 50 states, we continue to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus at TLC. To isolate cases, we have established three COVID-19 positive care areas and three COVID-19 negative care areas. Additionally, as recommended by the CDC, we continue to test both residents and staff weekly. We use the PCR – polymerase chain reaction – test. This is a diagnostic test that determines if a person is infected by analyzing a sample to see if it contains genetic material from the virus. Our protocol has identified 19 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. We are sad to report that despite our best efforts two of these residents have died this week. We are continuing to work diligently to provide a high level of care to our residents and to protect our residents from COVID-19.
New Mexico, like much of the US, is experiencing a tremendous surge in community cases. Twenty-two counties in New Mexico have positivity rates greater than 5%, with Taos County at 4.9%, which correlates to a higher risk of infection for vulnerable populations. We encourage the entire Taos community to follow all CDC guidelines and regulations; social distance, wear a mask, and stay home when possible.
We would like to thank our staff, as well as our colleagues at Holy Cross Medical Center, who day-after-day risk their health to serve the entire community.
TLC is committed to operating transparently during these difficult times. I am available to answer any questions you may have.
Dave Armijo Administrator 505-718-8640
November 02, 2020
Taos Living Center has had confirmed cases of COVID -19. Early this year, Taos Living Center implemented a rigorous testing schedule. Knowing that 46 of the 71 homes in NM have tested positive for COVID19, we remained vigilant with our protective equipment, our continuous testing program, and our facility quarantine procedures. Our testing process consists of testing a percentage of our population every single week to quickly identify any cases of COVID19. When a positive test comes back in our scheduled testing, we then test 100% of our population. Last week, our testing schedule identified a positive case. At the same time, an employee who was tested outside of our facility after experiencing symptoms also tested positive. We were able to quickly perform testing on 100% of our population to identify any positive cases and appropriately quarantine and protect our residents and employees using point of care rapid tests. We are currently PCR( polymerase Chain reaction) testing to confirm positive cases. This test is a collection taken by Taos Living Center and processed by Tri-core laboratories. We have initiated emergency procedures and have canceled all window and compassionate care visits. We are working closely with Holy Cross Hospital and are in continued contact with our medical community to ensure we take all necessary precautions to protect our community and provide the highest level of care. We would like to thank our incredible staff, our partners at Holy Cross, and our entire community for their support.
Taos living Center i currently allowing one in person visit per resident per month. We are also in certain instances allowing compassionate care visits. We do however encourage families to utilize window visits and face time visits
August 06, 2020
We have completed an additional round of testing we have not had any more positive test results. The governor just announced allowing long term facilities to permit visitation. Because we have had a previous positive staff member we are unable to provide in-person visits at this time. As soon as we allow in-person visits we will notify residents and families
We have completed this weeks round of testing and all residents and staff have came back negative
July 23, 2020
First round of testing has been completed. We have had o positive cases in residents and 1 positive case in a staff member. We will continue to test 100 percent of staff and residents until we have 2 rounds of 100 percent negative.
This week a Taos Living Center employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee was not a direct caregiver. Taos Living Center will immediately begin testing all residents and staff members. If any tests are positive we will notify Residents and Families. We will conduct 100 percent testing until we have 2 rounds of testing without any positives. if you have any questions or concerns please call Dave Armijo 505-718-8640
July 10, 2020
We have completed weekly surveillance testing. All staff and residents that were tested have had negative results. We will continue to test 25% of staff and 25% of residents weekly.
All residents and staff have been tested. All residents and staff tests have come back negative. Second round of 100 percent testing has been completed. We will resume surveillance testing of 25% of staff and residents weekly.
We have completed the first round of testing for Residents and staff. All Residents have tested negative. We will administer second round of testing next week.
June 23, 2020
All residents have been re tested. Staff testing in currently in process. Results will be available in 48-72 hours.
During recent testing at the facility we have had one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member had not had recent contact with residents. The staff member had been in contact with persons who had traveled out of state. The staff member was on a voluntary quarantine prior to being tested. Taos Living Center will begin testing all staff and residents immediately. Please call or email with any questions or concerns.
Residents and Families,
Taos Living Center is currently implementing new practices to better accommodate guidance issued from The Department of Health on COVID-19. Today we are suspending group dining and group activities. We are also asking that all resident wear a mask when not in their rooms. We will be providing masks when they become available. Taos Living Center has tested all of our residents and we have zero cases. We have tested a majority of staff and will continue until everyone has been tested. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call or email me.
MARCH 26, 2020
In response to concerns regarding novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), nursing facilities, including but not limited to, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day cares, hospice facilities, rehabilitation facilities with older adults patients, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with disabilities are directed to take measures to restrict facility access for all visitors, non-medical health care providers, vendors, and other non-essential individuals. Facilities must screen anyone who enters a facility for signs of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat) except EMS workers responding to an emergency health need. Those with symptoms of a respiratory infection should not be permitted to enter the facility at any time. Staff who work in multiple locations should be identified and limited to one location if possible.
Facilities must notify potential visitors to defer visitation until further notice. Acceptable notification includes posting notices at the facility entrance, sending written notice via mail or electronic means, etc. Facilities need to facilitate resident communication (by phone or other format) with families, the Ombudsman program, or any other entity per 42 CFR &483.10 (f)(4)(i).
Resident visitation is limited to certain end-of-life care situations. Decisions about visitation during an end of life situation should be made on a case by case basis. All visitors shall be screened according to the Department of Health (DOH) Public Health Ordered issued on March 13, 2020. Visitation in these situations should be made with strict guidelines, such as being limited to a specific room. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as facemasks, should be provided if they are available. Provide instruction on performing hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched and use of PPE according to current facility policy while in resident rooms.
All staff should be screened at the beginning of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Their temperature should be actively taken and any respiratory symptoms should be documented. If a healthcare worker shows symptoms of respiratory illness, they should be screened for COVID-19 risk factors (i.e. respiratory illness in the last 14 days and direct contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19) to determine if exclusion from the facility is appropriate.
Employees who have a presumed confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 should be excluded from the facility and should only return to work under the following guidelines:
- Non-test-based strategy. Exclude from work until:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- Test-based strategy, if tests are available. Exclude from work until:
- Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
- Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens)
All residents should be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms.
Certain precautions should be taken when admitting new residents to a facility. Facilities should admit any individual that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present. If possible, facilities should dedicate a unit/wing exclusively for any residents coming or returning from the hospital. This can serve as a step-down unit where they remain for 14 days with no symptoms (instead of integrating as usual on short-term rehab floor or returning to long-stay to their original room).
READMISSIONS AND RETURNS
A facility should readmit a resident after hospitalization. If the resident was diagnosed with COVID-19, they should be admitted under transmission-based precautions for COVID-19. If a facility is unable to comply with the requirements for transmission-based precautions, readmission must wait until these precautions are discontinued. Facilities are advised to avoid unnecessary discharges and transfers at this time to discourage and limit spread of illness between facilities. To the extent a discharge or transfer of a patient is necessary, facilities must ensure the patient can be discharged in a safe manner.