State’s Reopening Decisions for Nursing Homes Must Be Made With Great Caution and on an Individual Basis PALTC facilities should be the last to open to visitors and vendors

May 6, 2020

Columbia, MD – States and local communities are starting the process of reopening retail stores, restaurants, offices, and other businesses. In light of this, AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Medicine says the decision to reopen PALTC facilities, which house our most vulnerable population during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, must be made with great caution and on an individual basis, regardless of the status of the surrounding community.

In a statement released today, AMDA says this important decision should rest entirely with the clinical leaders managing the care of the patients and residents in these facilities: “Medical directors, executive directors and directors of nursing, along with their regional leadership, should work in collaboration with their local health departments and hospital systems to determine the appropriate time to reopen their nursing homes and assisted living communities to visitors, to relax social distancing policies and personal protective equipment requirements.”

AMDA’s statement also notes that PALTC facilities should be the last to open to visitors and outside contractors and vendors. As Executive Director Christopher E. Laxton, CAE, explains, “While some parts of the country have seen a decline in COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths, others continue to see a rise in these statistics. That is why we urge federal, state, and local governments and health authorities to stipulate that PALTC facilities be the last to reopen. We know that family members in particular are eager to see their loved ones, but we must ensure that our older adults who are most at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 stay safe.”

Read AMDA’s complete statement.


AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely