The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, is restricting all visitors at skilled nursing, assisted living, and intermediate care facilities in order to protect the health of residents and employees.
80 percent of COVID-19 cases are mild; however, these facilities provide care to vulnerable populations, including older Coloradans and people with underlying health conditions, that are at higher risk of getting severely ill.
“We all have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us from contracting COVID-19,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It starts with staying isolated even if your symptoms are mild. We are all in this together, and we all have people we love who are particularly vulnerable — our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles.”
“We have learned a lot from other states where COVID first appeared, and are taking this step because we believe it’s necessary to lessen the possibility of exposure to people living in these facilities,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE. “We will continue to exercise every precaution necessary to protect those who are vulnerable. We all play a role in slowing and limiting the spread of this virus.”
The order says:
These facilities are required to offer alternative communication methods for people who would otherwise visit the residents by using virtual communication tools and providing staff to assist the residents with those tools.
Third-party visitors who are critical to the resident’s care will be allowed to continue their services, with screening restrictions, to continue to provide the care, services, and supplies crucial to resident care. These include volunteers, vendors receiving supplies, agency staff, EMS personnel and equipment, transportation providers, and other practitioners.
The order mandates facilities to document symptom screening for all individuals entering the building, and make the documentation available to the department upon request.
In the event that the facility has a positive, or suspected positive case of COVID-19, the facility will keep records of visitation in order to prevent infection exposure to other residents.