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Signature HealthCARE continues to follow Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines on COVID-19 and will continue to strictly adhere to those guidelines.

Eight months ago, after the company first announced its reopening plan for resident visitation, on November 12 it announced additional guidelines that will allow full visitation.

The company cites the continued success of vaccinations, the rising percentage of vaccinated residents, and the recent CMS long-term care staff vaccination mandate. 

“This is exciting news for our thousands of residents and their families who have been nothing short of extraordinary during recent times of federal and state resident visitation restrictions that were implemented for the utmost safety of all,” the company said in a press release today. “We thank our residents and families for their continued understanding, patience, and support and, in accordance with the new CMS guidelines, Signature HealthCARE’s facilities can now offer open resident visitation once again, subject to certain safety restrictions.”    

But, the company said, “Our nursing home population remains one of the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and other viruses, like the flu. Therefore, the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention, adopted from CMS guidelines, will be enforced, and must be followed.”

They include: 

Visitors who are positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet the criteria for COVID-19 quarantine, cannot enter the facility. Visitors will be screened before entry, including temperature checks, along with a COVID-19 questionnaire and symptoms observation.  

Precautionary infection control measures, including hand hygiene requirements. 

Visitor mask — covering mouth and nose— and other personal protective equipment requirements.  

Visitor social distancing of at least 6-feet apart from all persons .  

Posting of facility signage indicating COVID-19 signs, symptoms and best mitigation practices. 

Residents and staff COVID-19 testing, as regulations require. 

“Any visitor who is unable or refuses to adhere to the Core Principles and Signature’s COVID-19 visitation rules regrettably will be asked to leave and/or not be permitted to visit.”

Visitors do not have to be fully vaccinated to enter a facility, however, CMS and the company strongly encourage it “for the utmost protection of their loved ones and residents and staff in long-term care facilities.”

Visitors may also visit during a facility COVID-19 outbreak, even if their loved one is COVID-19 positive, so long as they decide to undertake the significant risk of transmission by doing so and know that, while permitted by CMS guidelines, such visitation is not recommended by Signature or CMS.   

“As we continue to navigate this ongoing pandemic and adhere to the guidelines of CMS, we hope our residents, families, staff, this nation, and our world are on a precipice of overcoming this ongoing pandemic,” said President and CEO Joe Steier. “The safety of our residents, families, and staff remain our top priority and it will take all of us being diligent, looking out for one another, to get there. We have amazing residents, families, and staff, and I know we’ll get there. We can do it.”