Modifications for Other Long-Term Care Facilities and Programs

All categories of long-term care facilities covered by this guidance document should follow the recommendations provided, with modifications for specific categories of facilities and programs as provided below.

Assisted living facilities and other similar arrangements

For Assisted Living Facilities (ALF), Shared Housing Establishments (SHE), Sheltered Care Facilities, and Supportive Living Facilities (SLF), the following modifications are recommended:

Visitation.

In CMS Phases 1 and 2, the general visitation rules apply to visitation at these facilities. In CMS Phase 3, facilities should follow these modifications:

Outdoor Visitation Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care facilities (LTCF) may allow outdoor visitation for residents under certain conditions. Visits must be limited to two visitors at a time per resident. The maximum number of residents and visitors permitted in the outdoor space at one time is predicated on the size of the outdoor space. The LTCF must ensure  a minimum distancing of 6 feet is achievable in the outdoor space when determining the maximum number of residents and visitors who can simultaneously occupy the outdoor space. The LTCF must clearly communicate and enforce social distancing of 6 feet between the resident and visitors. The facility must establish the maximum number of visitors allowed in a single day.

Long -Term Care COVID-19 Testing Requirements

This interim guidance provides updated guidelines and criteria for COVID-19 testing in licensed long-term care (LTC) facilities, as defined by the Nursing Home Care Act, 210 ILCS 45, primarily focusing on skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities.

Given their congregate setting and resident populations served (e.g., older adults often with underlying chronic medical conditions), nursing home populations are at the highest risk of being affected by COVID-19. If infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, residents are at increased risk of serious illness. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is committed to working proactively with LTC facilities to prevent illnesses.

Restoring Illinois – Protecting Our Communities FAQs

On May 5, Gov. JB Pritzker released Restore Illinois, a five-phased plan to reopen our state, guided by health metrics and with distinct business, education, and recreation activities characterizing each phase. Beginning Friday, June 26, each region in the state entered Phase 4 of the plan. For more information about Restore Illinois and Phase 4, see below.

About the Plan

Who put the plan together?

Governor Pritzker worked closely with medical and public health experts at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and received feedback from public health and hospital partners as well as local elected officials, mayors, and businesses who have been in regular communication with the administration.

Workplace Health and Safety Guidance for Employees and Staff of Businesses

Practice Social Distancing

Pursuant to Executive Order, your employer must comply to the greatest extent feasible with social distancing requirements. This means that your employer should:

Long Term Care Facility Resident Monitoring Protocol

Long-Term Care Facility Residents/Patients

All Patients

Obtain vitals (temperature, heart rate, respirations) AND pulse oximetry every eight hours (Q8 hours). Blood pressure can be taken once a day.

Symptom screening to be performed every shift (Q8H) and should include questions about and/or observations of the following:

  • Fever 
  • Shortness of breath (SOB) 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat
  • Chills or shaking w/chills
  • Muscle pains
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell

Contact the clinical supervisor for any of the following: new-onset fever, SOB, cough, sore throat, or for any decrease in pulse oximetry from resident baseline level or any pulse oximetry reading < 92%. If these symptoms are present, providers should strongly consider transfer to a higher level of care. Monitoring every four hours is appropriate for patients with evidence of clinical deterioration.

Long-term care Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is being done to protect long-term care (LTC) residents from COVID-19?

A: Administrators have been instructed to restrict visits, cancel group activities, close dining rooms, and screen residents and staff for fevers and respiratory diseases.

Q: Are LTC residents and staff required to be tested for COVID-19?

A:  Yes.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requires every skilled and intermediate LTC facility to test all residents and staff for COVID-19 (starting May 28, 2020).  Each facility must collect specimens and arrange for laboratory testing.  The number of residents and staff tested, and the number of positive, negative, and indeterminate test results are to be reported to public health officials.

Communicating about COVID-19 in Congregate Settings (Long-Term Care Facilities)

This guidance addresses notification procedures by long-term care facilities to residents, residents’ family, guardians, or emergency contacts, and to staff members, when a resident or a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19. This guidance also addresses notification to a resident’s family, guardian, or emergency contact when that resident has died from COVID-19.

Long-term care facilities are licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and include, but are not limited to, skilled nursing, nursing, shelter care, assisted living, shared housing, life care, intermediate care, specialized mental health rehabilitation, and medically complex facilities for the developmentally disabled

Long Term Care Facilities Guidance

Updated Interim Guidance for Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities and Programs: Phased Reopening

This interim guidance provides guidelines for nursing homes and other long-term care (LTC) facilities to ease restrictions that were instituted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The guidance in this document is specifically intended for facilities as defined in the Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45), and also applies to Supportive Living Facilities, Assistive Living Facilities, Shared Housing Establishments, Sheltered Care Facilities, Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRF), Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD), State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODC), and Medically Complex/Developmentally Disabled Facilities (MC/DD). Modifications for specific categories of LTC facilities and programs are provided in the Appendix.

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