MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities across South Carolina have met the minimum requirement to begin limited outdoor visitation, including two along the Grand Strand and one in the Pee Dee.
That list was released Tuesday by officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and comes two weeks after Gov. Henry McMaster and DHEC staff announced guidelines for these facilities to offer outdoor visitation.
Of the 41 facilities that were approved, the three area ones are:
The guidelines from DHEC to allow for limited outdoor visitation include:
· Screening of residents for any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection with documentation is occurring at least daily and for staff at the start of each shift.
· Facility has adequate staffing and personal protective equipment (PPE).
· Facility must provide their written plan for limited outdoor visitation to DHEC’s Healthcare Quality division.
· There have been no cases among staff and residents identified in the facility within the last 14 days.
· For a nursing home, testing must be occurring per CMS requirements before visitation may begin at the facility. Community residential care facilities (and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities who are recommended to follow these guidelines) may begin visitations before testing is in place, but testing as described in the CMS requirements for nursing homes must be occurring within 30 days from when these Guidelines for Outdoor Visitation are issued.
Visitations at long-term care facilities have been restricted since March to end-of-life visits on a case-by-case basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the summer, families of nursing home residents have pushed for the restrictions to be loosened.
On Aug. 21, McMaster sent a letter to DHEC chairman Mark Elam, urging the agency to “promptly issue up-to-date visitation guidelines providing all direction and information deemed necessary to resume – or require resumption if necessary – in-person visitation with residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”
For a full list of facilities that have received approval from DHEC to begin limited outdoor visitation, see below: