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May 22, 2020

CMS Issues Guidance for Gradual Reopening of Long Term Care Facilities

On May 18, CMS issued a memorandum urging state officials to exercise caution in deciding when to relax restrictions at long term care facilities implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Due to the vulnerable nature of the population of long term care facilities, CMS recommends maintaining “aggressive efforts to limit COVID-19 exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19” as communities gradually advance through phases of reopening. Specifically, while a community is in Phase 1 of the Trump Administration’s plan for “Opening Up America Again,” long term care facilities are urged to continue prohibiting visitation, except for compassionate care situations. Because the pandemic is affecting communities in different ways, CMS advises state and local leaders to make reopening decisions for long term care facilities based on numerous factors outlined in the memorandum.