CMS Releases Revised Guidance on Nursing Home Visitations and COVID Testing

April 30, 2021
Policy Snapshot

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released revised guidance on nursing home visitation and long-term care facility testing requirements. For communal activities and dining, the new guidance states that “residents who are fully vaccinated may dine and participate in activities without face coverings or social distancing if all participating residents are fully vaccinated; if unvaccinated residents are present during communal dining or activities, then all residents should use face coverings when not eating and unvaccinated residents should physically distance from others.”

Additionally, CMS released revised COVID testing guidance. It notes that vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and residents should be tested for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. If staff or residents show any symptoms, they should be tested immediately.

CMS also revised the COVID-19 Focused Survey for Nursing Homes tool to reflect the new testing requirements implemented in the IFC. The current can be found in the LTC Survey Pathways zipfile.