DHS COVID-19 PROVIDER RESOURCES // OLTL
Guidance Suspending and Restricting License Requirements for
Personal Care Homes and Assisted Living Residences
Issued: March 29, 2020
The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has suspended, with conditions, specific license
regulations for Personal Care Homes (PCHs) and for Assisted Living Residences (ALRs). Also,
OLTL has imposed restrictions on visitations and temporarily suspends annual inspections.
On March 6, 2020, Governor Wolf issued a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency (“the Disaster
Proclamation”). In the Disaster Proclamation, the Governor suspended both regulations and
regulatory statutes, if strict compliance with those provisions would prevent, hinder, or delay
necessary action in coping with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
Pursuant to the Disaster Proclamation, and pursuant to OLTL’s authority under the regulations,
OLTL does the following:
Facility Program Requirements
OLTL suspends the regulations listed in the attachment. The attachment states if there are
conditions or substitute requirements.
The suspension shall end when Governor Wolf ends the Disaster Proclamation, unless OLTL has
stated a different time in the attachment or unless OLTL later sets another time.
This suspension only addresses licensing requirements. The suspension does not bind any
other agency and does not change any other law.
PCHs and ALRs shall restrict all visitations except for medically necessary visits and except for
compassionate care situations, such as end-of-life situations.
A PCH resident and an ALR resident may usually receive visitors. However, Governor Wolf
issued statewide Mitigation Efforts beginning March 17, 2020. The Mitigation Efforts require
PCHs and ALRs to restrict visitations. Additionally, the federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) recommended that long term care facilities restrict visitations except for
compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations. These restrictions shall end when
Governor Wolf ends the Disaster Proclamation, unless OLTL later sets another time.
OLTL suspends annual inspections for the length of the Governor’s Disaster Proclamation or
until OLTL sets another time. OLTL shall continue onsite complaint and incident investigations.
OLTL will complete annual inspections as soon as possible. If the license expires before an
annual inspection, then the licensee may continue to operate under the existing license. The
continuation of operation is subject to any licensing enforcement action OLTL may take in
response to a complaint or based on violations at the time the annual inspection. If, after an
annual inspection, OLTL finds that the licensee is in strict compliance with all licensing
requirements, OLTL will issue a retroactive license.