On March 20, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released revised guidance to prevent and control COVID-19 in Long Term Care Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities.  This revision is based on the knowledge that older and medically vulnerable adults have a significantly higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.

Facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel.  DHS expects facilities to notify potential visitors of the need to postpone visitation until further notice.

End-of-life cases have been identified as an exception in which visitors will be allowed but limited to a specific room only.  Further guidance is provided in the memo revised guidance.

Additional Guidance

  1. Cancel communal dining and all group activities.
  1. Implement active screening of residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  1. Remind residents to practice social distancing and perform frequent hand hygiene.
  1. Screen all staff at the beginning of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  1. Identify staff who work at multiple facilities and actively screen and restrict them appropriately.
  1. Review and revise all interactions with individuals entering the facility, such as vendors, delivery drivers, agency staff, EMS personnel and equipment, transportation providers, and other non-health care providers. Take necessary actions to prevent any potential transmission.
  2. Offer alternative means of communication such as virtual communications for residents and their visitors.

If you have any question or comments regarding this latest development, please feel free to contact Tom Shorter at tom.shorter@huschblackwell.com or 608-234-6015.