FamHelp Facility Status and Information

Family Help

* Accuracy and currency are paramount to us. Please contact james.kopriva@dshs.wa.gov with suggested revisions to this page. *


FamHelp: Tools for Families of Residents in Long-Term Care


Safe Start for Long Term Care plan announced (August 6, 2020)

Introduction

On March 10, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-06 prohibiting visitors access to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Proclamation 20-16 followed shortly thereafter, expanding the list of facilities to which visitors were prohibited.

On August 6, 2020, Governor Inslee announced the Safe Start for Long-Term Care plan. The plan establishes criteria for long-term care facilities to safely conduct visitation. The plan also prescribes policy related to trips outside the facility, communal dining and group activities, testing and screening, source control and PPE, and staffing. A summary is available here.

Visit DSHS.WA.GOV/ALTSA/FAMHELP (this page) for more information about visitation to long-term care facilities.

Important Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

When and how may I visit my loved one in a long-term care facility?

View an enlarged version of this table here.

  • Facilities in LTC Phase 1:
    • Indoor visits are limited to compassionate care situations. Compassionate care situations include end-of-life circumstances and for psychosocial needs. Any such visit must follow strict safety protocol.
    • Outdoor visits are allowed and limited to two visitors per resident per visit. These visits must include masking, social distancing, and appropriate hygiene.
    • Facilities may invite "window visits" at their discretion with safety protocol in place.
    • Remote visitation must be facilitated in all Phases.
  • Facilities in LTC Phase 2:
    • Indoor visits are limited to compassionate care situations. Compassionate care situations include end-of-life circumstances and for psychosocial needs. Any such visit must follow strict safety protocol.
    • Outdoor visits are allowed. These visits must include masking, social distancing, and appropriate hygiene.
    • Facilities may invite "window visits" at their discretion with safety protocol in place.
    • Remote visitation must be facilitated in all Phases.
    • A designated "essential support person" may visit a resident once per day if the resident is unable to participate in outdoor visits and if remote visitation technology is unavailable.
  • Facilities in LTC Phase 3:
    • Indoor visits are generally permitted, with limitations. Facilities will establish protocol for visitor hours, visitor limits, and safety precautions. Preference should be given to outdoor visits.
    • Outdoor visits are allowed and are subject to facility safety protocol.
    • Remote visitation must be facilitated in all Phases.
  • Facilities in LTC Phase 4:
    • Regular visitation resumes.

How do I find out what LTC Phase applies to a particular long-term care facility?

Contact your facility of interest to inquire about their LTC Phase status. Individual facilities may often be subject to a different phase than the county has reached under the general Safe Start plan.

How will I be informed of LTC Phase changes at a particular long-term care facility?

Request that your facility of interest include you on updates related to LTC Phase status.

How do LTC Phases work?

LTC Phase status is based upon the general Safe Start plan, but takes additional factors into account.

Those additional factors include local virus activity, facility access to testing and personal protective equipment, and virus activity within the facility.

Facilities will be held to LTC Phase 1 if the local COVID case rate per 100,000 residents exceeds 75.

To reach LTC Phase 2, the local COVID case rate threshold is 25-75 per 100,000 residents. 28 days must have passed since the last positive or suspected client was identified within the facility. Adequate staffing, PPE, cleaning supplies, local hospital capacity are also required.

To reach LTC Phase 3, the local COVID case rate threshold is 10-25 per 100,000 residents. 28 days must have passed since the last positive or suspected client was identified within the facility. Adequate staffing, PPE, cleaning supplies, local hospital capacity are also required.

To reach LTC Phase 4, the local COVID case rate must not exceed 10 per 100,000 residents. 28 days must have passed since the last positive or suspected client was identified within the facility. Adequate staffing, PPE, cleaning supplies, local hospital capacity are also required.

Facilities may not move beyond their county's Safe Start Phase.

If I am concerned that a facility or agency visitor policy is improper, what can I do?

Complaints to the Residential Care Services (RCS) Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU) will inform DSHS of potential violations of Safe Start for Long Term Care criteria. CRU staff will investigate complaints to ensure proper LTC Phase determination and visitor policy.

The RCS Complaint Resolution Unit may be reached at 1-800-562-6078, or a complaint may be lodged online.

What precautions are in place to prevent outsiders from introducing infection?

All facility entrants are screened upon entering or re-entering the facility. Screening may include temperature checks and questionnaires regarding exposure and symptoms. All facility entrants will be required to follow facility safety policy to encompass social distancing, face covering, and additional protective equipment or measures as required.

Do residents that leave facilities for community visits need to be quarantined?

Facilities will complete an exposure risk assessment for each resident who leaves the facility for community visits. The risk assessment will inform how the facility manages residents upon their return. Residents that leave the facility, as well as those accompanying them (family members, etc.), should be educated on infection prevention. "Low-risk" resident activity will prompt a safety briefing and screening. "Medium-risk" resident activity prompts a 14-day refrain from group activity. "High-risk" resident activity should be quarantined for 14 days. The facility will work with the Local Health Jurisdiction (LHJ) in determining the best approach after completing the exposure risk assessment.

How are "end-of-life" and "psychosocial need" circumstances defined for early LTC Phase visits?

"End-of-life" circumstances are generally considered to be defined by a sharp decline in health status.

"Psychosocial need" circumstances are generally considered to encompass situations of acute distress or trauma. Examples include the death of a friend or loved one or distress over sudden lifestyle changes.

All compassionate care circumstances are considered by facilities on a case-by-cases basis. In Phases 1 and 2, these visits are to be conducted sparingly.

Are residents required to wear masks all day?

In general, residents are bound by the same statewide masking mandates as the rest of the state. Secretary of Health Order 20-03.1 requires that every person in Washington State must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are outside of their dwelling unit (with some exceptions).

A Residential Care Services (RCS) Dear Provider Letter issued Aug. 6 interprets the Secretary of Health's order as it relates to long-term care settings.  In "congregate living settings" as defined by the letter, the dwelling unit is considered to be the resident's bedroom or any living space not generally open to other residents, and the resident must be masked when outside of their dwelling unit (with some exceptions).

According to the order, congregate living settings do not include supported living homes and state-operated living alternatives. Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental or cognitive condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering are generally excepted from the face covering requirement.


FamHelp Long-Term Care Phone Hotline

Call (888) 856-5691 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily with questions about long-term care and other DSHS facilities.

Trained operators will field general questions related to State-licensed facilities affected by COVID-19. Operators can also offer current visitation restrictions and safety guidelines.

Inquiries regarding specific client information will be triaged and transferred directly to the appropriate facility or contact for additional information.


Facility Location and Visitor Status Finder

We share your concern for the health and safety of your loved ones. Important restrictions are in place to protect residents of long-term care facilities. These links contain facility information and current restrictions in effect.

Facility Locators

Guidance on Resident Visits to the Community, Departures from Facilities

As businesses and services reopen across Washington State, residents of long-term care may wish to enjoy these opportunities. Resident rights and rules permit participation in activities away from the home if desired or needed.

Residents of long-term care are likely to be classified as a "High-Risk Population" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Safe Start plan encourages, but does not require, High-Risk Populations to stay home as much as possible during Phases 2 and 3.

Residents that wish to visit the community should expect an educational briefing prior to departure and daily symptom screenings after their return. Residents that visit the community should wear face coverings, observe social distancing, and frequently wash their hands to reduce the possibility of transmission.


Facilities with Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

This list of skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities reports confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff and/or residents. This list was developed from provider self-reporting and public reporting to Residential Care Services (RCS) Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU). Providers will remain listed until RCS receives a report that the facility no longer has any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

We cannot fully guarantee the accuracy nor the currency of this report. This is the best information available to us. Please call the provider of interest for current status.

Of note is a significant drop in the count on May 22. Long-term care facilities are asked to complete COVID-19 reporting surveys twice per week. Many facilities have reported that they are now free of known infections of COVID-19. These clearances were reviewed and confirmed during the week of May 15-22, and cleared facilities were dropped from the count. The count now reflects ALTSA’s current understanding of facilities with confirmed reports of open COVID-19 cases.


    COVID-19 News and Data Bulletin

    ALTSA will issue a bulletin every two weeks that reports critical information related to long-term care facilities and COVID-19. The bulletin contains a list of affected facilities, the number of facilities reporting cases, the number of inspections performed by ALTSA, and other data points and news items.


    Additional COVID-19 Information


    Information about COVID-19 for Adults 60+

    COVID-19 is most dangerous to people over 60 or with underlying health conditions. Please take caution to protect yourself and your loved ones. Visit the Washington State Coronavirus Website. It contains links to vital resources to prepare and protect adults over 60.


    Resources for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

    ASL COVID-19 Informational Video Series

    The Washington State Department of Health has published an 8-part video series about COVID-19 with closed captioning and American Sign Language.

    Guides and Resources for Those Affected by Hearing Loss


    Information About COVID-19:


      Recent Changes In Response to COVID-19

      Some recent policies or emergency mandates may be relevant to you, your loved one, or services provided by the Aging and Long-Term Support Administration.

      "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" Order

      Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order on March 23, 2020.  Click here for a summary of its effects.

      Long-Term Care Facilities Visitation Restrictions

      Please see our "How to Visit Someone in a Long-Term Care Facility" section above for our summary of recent restrictions to visitation.

      ALTSA Lobbies Closed to Public but Services Remain Active

      Adult Protective Services, Residential Care Services, and Home and Community Services office lobbies are closed to the public to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Our services remain active and our staff remain accessible by telephone.