Safe Start for Long-Term Care Plan

Safe Start for Long Term Care Plan

Introduction

The Safe Start for Long-Term Care plan establishes criteria for long-term care facilities to permit visitation. The plan also offers guidance on trips outside the facility, communal dining and group activities, testing and screening, source control and PPE, and staffing. 

Full Plan Documents by Facility Class

The following documents take effect February 1, 2021.

 


Frequently-Asked Questions

    When and how may I visit a resident in long-term care?

    In general, only outdoor and remote visits are permitted until LTC Phases 3 and 4 are reached. There are two exceptions for which an indoor visit would be allowed in LTC Phases 1 and 2:

    • Compassionate care circumstances

      • End-of-life circumstances, defined by a "sharp decline in health status".
      • Psychosocial need situations involving signs of emotional distress.
        • Examples include grief, social withdrawal, or reluctance to eat or drink.
      • Refer to this document for answers to common questions about compassionate care visits.
    • Visits by an essential support person

      • An "essential support person" may be designated to visit and advocate for the resident.
      • Contact your facility of interest to ask about essential support person policy.
      • Refer to this document for answers to common questions about essential support visits.

    ** Vaccinated persons still must observe these visitation limits, and they must observe all standard infection control measures while onsite (i.e. masking, hand-washing, symptom screening, etc). **


    How do "LTC Phases" work?

    LTC Phases are based on local public health criteria and do not directly correspond with the statewide Healthy Washington plan. Local health jurisdictions will assist facilities in phase determination. Contact your facility of interest to determine its LTC Phase status.

    Among other criteria, LTC phase status is based on the local two-week new case rate. You may check your county's new case rate via the state Risk Assessment Dashboard.

    • LTC Phase 1: More than 75 cases per 100,000 residents
    • LTC Phase 2: 25-75 cases per 100,000 residents
    • LTC Phase 3: 10-25 cases per 100,000 residents
    • LTC Phase 4: Fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 residents

    How do I become an Essential Support Person?

    An essential support person (ESP) may be appointed to visit a resident indoors in LTC Phases 1 and 2.

    To become an ESP, contact the facility of interest about their ESP policy. The resident must be consulted on who they wish to designate as an ESP.

    An ESP may be asked to wait to visit until the facility can accommodate. ESPs may only visit once per day. When permitted to visit, ESPs must wear personal protective equipment, wash their hands, and maintain social distancing.

    Refer to this document for answers to common questions.