Washington, D.C. — Mark Parkinson, President and CEO at the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), issued the following statement in response to updated federal guidance on limiting visitors during the COVID-19 outbreak:
“We appreciate the federal government’s support for the long term care sector. It’s evident that everyone is working towards the same goal: to keep our nation’s nursing home residents and staff safe and healthy. The threat of coronavirus to those that we serve—older adults and those with underlying health conditions—is alarming, with dire consequences. We must do everything we can to prevent the further spread into our buildings.
“It may be very hard for families and friends who cannot visit their loved ones at this time. But we know there is a risk that people who appear healthy will enter nursing homes and assisted living communities and still infect residents. Working together with CDC, CMS and other partners, we agree that we need to do everything we can to minimize that risk. Those who work in long term care facilities are committed to helping residents communicate with family members and friends through alternative means, so they can remain connected to their loved ones.”
“The federal government’s guidance supersedes the AHCA/NCAL issued guidance from earlier this week. Everyone agrees that providers must take dramatic action to limit non-essential individuals from entering our buildings and to ensure that employees who are sick stay home. The most important thing right now is getting the message to all providers, families and residents about what they can do to prepare and respond.”
For more information on the coronavirus in long term care facilities, please visit www.ahcancal.org/coronavirus.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.