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DHS COVID-19 PROVIDER GUIDANCE // OLTL

Visitation Restrictions in Personal Care Homes and Assisted Living Residences

Issued: May 5, 2020

This communication is to clarify that Guidance Suspending and Restricting LicenseRequirements for Personal Care Homes and Assisted Living Residences, issued on March 29, does not restrict medically necessary visits from essential health care personnel. The guidance states: 

“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.” 

Physicians, nurse practitioners, therapists, and dialysis staff are considered essential and are not restricted from medically necessary visits. 

Additionally, restriction of visits does not apply to hospice workers. Hospice staff are essential health care personnel that provide palliative/hospice care to residents for relief of symptoms, pain and stress either from a life-long advanced chronic illness or a diagnosed terminal illness. 

All essential health care personnel should be permitted to enter the facility to provide personcentered care and services for their patients as long as they adhere to the personal care home/assisted living residence’s policies and procedures for infection control and meet the CDC Guidelines for Health Care Workers.

In addition to medically necessary personnel and hospice workers, providers are reminded that licensing staff and protective services workers are to be allowed on site.