by Marissa Lorenz
Just short of the March anniversary of Colorado’s first COVID-19 restrictions, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released updated guidance on visitation for long-term and extended care facilities, such as Cliffview Assisted Living in Kremmling.
“We are very excited to be able to have visitors back at Cliffview,” said Cliffview Administrator Mary Jo Hargadine. “The residents are enjoying having visits from family members and friends again. They get much joy from sharing stories and laughter with their guests.”
The updated Public Health Order, issued March 23, now reads, “Facilities should allow for indoor and outdoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status, except in certain circumstances as outlined in the General Visitation Guidance.
Visitation during an outbreak may be allowed with certain criteria met. Compassionate care visits must be allowed
under all circumstances.”
Fully-vaccinated residents are now permitted “close contact” with family and friends, including hand-holding and hugs, activities prohibited for the last year. Visitors are still required to have a symptom check before entering the facility, and all parties must maintain mask-wearing and hand-washing practices.
Indoor visitation will still be limited for: Unvaccinated residents, if less than 70% of residents are fully-vaccinated and the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate goes above 10% Any resident with confirmed COVID-19 infection, until they may discontinue transmission-based precautions.
Any resident under quarantine What that looks like in Grand County, according to Tiffany Frietag, Director of Community Relations at Middle Park Health (MPH), is that one indoor visitor at a time may now visit inpatients at the MPH Granby and Kremmling Hospitals and residents of Cliffview Assisted Living Center, which is managed and staffed by the Hospital District.
“However, if patients would like outdoor visitation, we are not limiting the number of visitors,” explains Frietag.
“Whether the visit is indoors or outdoors, MPH will ensure appropriate screening, surveillance and social distancing is in place, per CDC and CDPHE guidance. MPH has and will continue to follow CDPHE guidance on visitation. The current visitation policy may change given last week’s Public Health Order.”
For the State’s part, it recognizes the change in visitation guidelines as an important “milestone for our residential care facilities as we continue to move towards a new normal,” as noted by Randy Kuykendall, CDPHE director of Health Facilities and EMS Division,
in a released statement.
“The last year has been extremely difficult, and this step forward has been a long time
in the making. I am optimistic about this guidance, as well as the continued vaccination in our residential care facilities to ensure that residents have both physical safety and good mental health.”
by Marissa Lorenz