Senior Living Facility Visitor Information

Essentia Health staff are doing everything we can to keep residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities safe. We recognize how important family members and other loved ones are to the well-being of our residents. Our goal is to always allow every resident the opportunity to have visitors, but to do so safely, in accordance with the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and control. These guidelines are set by the Centers for Medicare Services, Centers for Disease Control, and the Minnesota Department of Health. Upon arrival to the facility, you may receive verbal or written instructions regarding these important safety guidelines.

Visitation Guidelines

  • You do not need to contact the facility ahead of the visit.
  • Indoor visits will typically take place in the resident’s room or apartment. In the situation of a shared room where a roommate is not vaccinated or is immunocompromised, the visit will occur in a designated visitation area.
  • Residents have the right to allow or deny visitors as he/she chooses, once made aware of the risks associated with visitation.
  • All visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Visitors with symptoms or who currently meet the criteria for quarantine or isolation will not be allowed in the facility.
  • Visitors must follow all required COVID-19 infection control principles, including wearing a face mask, socially distancing during the visit, and conducting frequent hand hygiene. Please note that these guidelines may vary based on county transmission rate.
  • Visitors will be asked to leave if not following the COVID-19 infection control principles, or, if the visit is placing other residents at risk.
  • If all visitors and the resident are fully vaccinated and the resident is not moderately or severely immunocompromised, they may choose to have physical contact.
  • Visitors should wear face coverings/masks while around other residents or health care personnel, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Visitors are encouraged to participate in any COVID-19 testing offered by the facility.
  • Facilities may ask visitors about their vaccination status, but visitors are not required to be tested or vaccinated, or show proof of such, as a condition of visitation.
  • Unvaccinated visitors, and those who decline to disclose their vaccination status, must always wear a face covering/mask.
  • Visitors under age 12 must be supervised by an adult. All children must comply with social distancing and wear a face covering.
  • Pets are allowed during the visit, unless otherwise specified by the facility.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visitation and Outings:

Is there a limit to the number of visitors a resident may have at a time?

Generally speaking, no, there is not a limit to the number of visitors. However, visitors must stay within the resident’s room or apartment and space should allow for appropriate social distancing between the resident and visitors.

Is a face mask required during the visit? Is social distancing required?

Essentia Health requires all visitors to wear a mask while in the facility and social distance from the resident, other residents, and healthcare personnel.

However, If the county COVID-19 transmission rate is low or moderate, fully vaccinated residents who are not immunocompromised may choose to allow their visitors to remove their face covering and have physical contact with them if the visitor is also fully vaccinated. The individual screening the visitor will provide direction to visitors if there is an opportunity to remove the mask during the visit.

May Children Visit?

Yes, after being approved through the screener, children can participate in indoor visits are able to wear a mask and socially distance and are under the supervision of an adult if under the age of 12. Unfortunately, if the county transmission rate is substantial or high, masks are required and as such, children under age 2 may not visit indoors. Please inquire about options for outdoor visits.

What if my loved one is on quarantine for COVID-19? May I visit?

Residents on transmission-based precautions (TBP) or quarantine, while not recommended, can still receive visitors in his/her room. The resident should wear a well-fitting facemask (if tolerated). Visitors should be made aware of the risks of visitation, core principles of infection prevention.

What if the facility has an active COVID-19 outbreak?

Visitors must still be allowed into the facility, but they must be made aware of the potential risk of visiting and adhere to core principles of infection prevention. Visitation during an outbreak should include wearing face coverings/masks, regardless of vaccination status, and visits should ideally occur in the resident’s room.

What should I do if I developed signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting?

Please contact the facility to disclose this information, so that we may take all required action.

May a resident living in a nursing home or assisted living leave the facility on outings?

Yes; however, if the resident is on isolation or quarantined for COVID-19, it is recommended that the resident only leaves for necessary medical care.  All persons in the group outing should follow the recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Residents who leave the nursing home or assisted living-type facility for 24 hours or longer should generally be managed as described in the CDC’s guidance for New Admission and Readmission

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