Dear Family and Friends,
Many of you may have seen or received notification that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has published new requirements for Expanded Visitation at Nursing Facilities in the state of Texas on September 23, 2020. Expanded Visitation includes both General Visitation requirements and the designation of Essential Caregivers. It is important to note that these are two separate items that are each addressed in the Expanded Visitation rules.
The general or expanded visitation rules still have strict measures that Nursing Facilities must meet in order to apply and receive approval through the Health and Human Services Commission. We will be working diligently toward meeting that criteria over the coming days in order to begin the allowance of expanded general visitation. We will continue to keep you informed of our progress with those efforts. At this time, we are still able to accommodate closed window visits, end of life visits, telephone visits and Face Time visits via Apple I-Pads. Please give us a call to schedule one of these visits and we’ll gladly set it up.
The new rules also allow for visits by designated Essential Caregivers which are defined by HHSC as a “family member or other outside caregiver, including a friend, volunteer, private personal caregiver or court appointed guardian, who is at least 18 years old and has been designated by the resident or legal representative to provide regular care and support to a resident.” Each resident may have a maximum of 2 designated Essential Caregivers that will be allowed to provide care and support to the resident in the facility with proper precautions. Only 1 Essential Caregiver may visit the resident at a time and these visits are limited to a maximum of 2 hours. At this time, the State has asked us to develop policies and procedures for this, which includes signed agreements and Infection Control training for Essential Caregivers. We are working diligently to get everything in place to safely accommodate our Essential Caregivers wishing to provide regular care and support for their loved ones. If you provided regular care and support prior to this pandemic or wish to be designated as an Essential Caregiver now, please contact us so we can discuss the resident’s plan of care, arrange for your training, and set up a schedule for your visits.
We have missed all of you over the last 7 months and look forward to seeing each of you very soon. Please bear with us as we work to get all of the policies, procedures and training in place to make this process as safe as possible. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!
Liberty Health Care Center Team
To Our Residents and Family Members:
We are aware that many of you have heard that the state of Texas moved into Phase 1 of offering visitation to Nursing Facility residents over the last couple of weeks. In his press conference on 9/17/2020, Governor Abbott reiterated the “opening” of Nursing and Elderly Care Facilities across the state of Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services is now allowing Nursing facilities to formally apply for the ability to have visitation, but the requirements are extremely stringent and include the following:
The Nursing Facility must be free of the COVID-19 virus in all residents and employees and remain free on an ongoing basis. Any positive test result immediately ends all visitation, until the facility is COVID-19 free for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Nursing facilities must be testing all facility employees at a minimum of weekly. In some cases, and based on the County’s positivity rate, Nursing Facilities must test all employees twice per week. Any positive test results in immediate “outbreak testing” for all residents, until the facility is COVID-19 free for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Visitation, if granted, may only be conducted outside and socially distanced. Visitors are not allowed to enter the facility under any circumstances and visitors are not allowed to physically touch the resident.
Visitors and residents will not be allowed to bring any food or drink to the facility and a facial covering must be worn by both the resident and visitor at all times.
Visitors must comply with and pass a health pre-screening conducted by facility personnel prior to visitation with a resident.
Visitors must wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times during visit.
The aforementioned conditions have made visitation in our facilities an impossibility at this time. We want to assure you that we are communicating with and staying informed on the most recent communications from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services regarding Nursing Facility visitation. In fact, it is our understanding that HHSC and DSHS are currently revising the Phase 1 requirements for visitation, and may have those updated and released as early as 9/18/2020. As soon as we meet all of the above requirements and any new requirements that are released for visitation, and we are approved for visitation by Texas HHSC, we will be scheduling visits with families by appointment only. We know that the last several months have been extremely difficult for you and your loved ones and we are committed to continuing to allow window visitation and electronic tablet visitation through Skype and Face Time. If you have any further questions, or would like to setup an electronic visit we are more than happy to accommodate you. Please call our facility at 936-336-7247. We look forward to seeing you all in the near future.
In response to COVID-19, Coronavirus, we have heightened measures in place to protect our residents, your loved ones, and our staff.
While COVID-19 is a viral strain that is new to us, our staff has years of experience handling other contagious diseases. We’re committed to taking all necessary proactive and preventative measures to ensure the safety of all.
We are following all guidance and immediate recommendations from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Center for Disease Control, issued to Nursing Facility Providers nationwide on 3/10/2020.
We are now limiting and restricting access to our facility by all visitors and family to emergencies only. In an effort to protect your loved ones, we have a thorough pre-screening process in place for all visitors and employees.
Please call our office for up to date information or changes to our day to day operations and visitor restrictions.
Click here for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/prevent-spread-in-long-term-care-facilities.html