State Releases New Coronavirus Guidelines For Visiting Retirement Homes

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The River Pointe senior living home in Littleton.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released new guidelines Thursday on indoor visits in residential care facilities.

The department outlines six criteria group homes and other facilities must meet in order to allow indoor visitation from family and friends of residents.

These criteria include at least one round of facility-wide COVID-19 testing, enough staffing and personal protective equipment to be able to respond to a potential outbreak, and guidance on monitoring community spread.

If facilities are in a county that has more than 25 new, active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in a two-week period, those visiting have to show they've had a negative coronavirus test 48 hours before arriving. 

Facilities in counties that have over 175 new, active cases per 100,000 people over the previous two weeks are not allowed indoor visitation.

The new guidelines are a change from previous guidelines that allowed indoor visits only when providing support for people with disabilities or in end-of-life situations, among other circumstances. Facilities could allow outdoor visits with COVID-19 symptom screening and social distancing precautions.

The new guidelines also permit hair stylists, dentists and occupational therapists to provide services to residents indoors.

The department still recommends outdoor visits if the resident is able, weather permitting.