Colorado Issues New COVID-19 Directives & Guidance to ALRs
By Thomas Quinn, Peggy Kozal and Tessa Carberry on March 25, 2020
On March 23, 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) issued further Directives and Guidelines applicable to Assisted Living Residences (ALRs).
CDPHE Letter Regarding ALR Visitation Requirements:
- Home health and hospice workers operating under physician’s orders may be essential visitors, as considered on a case-by-case basis with the resident’s physician.
- All visitors permitted after screening must perform hand hygiene, use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and restrict their visit to the resident’s room or other designated location.
- Essential visitors entering under compassionate care situations or as vendors must be screened and then also limited to a specific room.
CDPHE Directives and Guidelines also highlight the following:
- If a resident has a suspected COVID-19 case: Consider telehealth or nurseline options instead of calling EMS. In Colorado, telehealth is covered by all insurance plans. Services are available here.
- For people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms: Not everyone with symptoms needs to be immediately tested, but if the resident has mild symptoms, isolate the resident and avoid unnecessary contact until he/she: (1) has had no fever for at least 72 hours; (2) other symptoms have improved; and (3) at least 7 days have elapsed since the symptoms first appeared. Increased precautions and directives are provided for residents with more serious or sever symptoms.
- Communities who are aware of a resident with COVID-19: Report the case to the county public health agency. Log other individuals who interacted with the afflicted resident and be able to report all staff who had interactions.
- Resident Rights: There is a right to personal and community engagement and residences may not restrict a resident from leaving unless living in a locked and secure environment. However, strongly encourage residents to stay-in-place and screen returning residents. Gordon & Rees attorneys advise that for those Communities in Denver, residents must be educated about and comply with the Stay at Home Order issued on March 23, 2020 and revised on March 24, 2020.
- Infection Control Practices: Re-train all staff on infection control policies and reinforce hygiene directives.
- Stimulating Self-Isolating Residents: Consider alternate communication methods with technology and provide other activities. Make routine, safe-distance checks on isolated residents.
Visit our COVID-19 Hub for ongoing updates.