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Updated Texas ALF (Assisted Living Facility) COVID-19 FAQs

On September 28, 2021, the Texas Health and Human Services released updated questions around COVID-19 for assisted living providers. As a caregiver for a loved one that is looking at different facilities for them, it is important to know some of these updated rules. Some of them may have an effect on Covid-19 exposure, being able to fully tour a facility, and more. It should be noted that these are the guidelines that received an update and doesn’t include the full list of recommendations.

Regarding Tours

If you have tried to tour an assisted living facility in the past 18 months, you may have received differing responses from each facility. ALF has updated their question around whether it is permissible for prospective residents and their family members to take a tour together.

ANSWER: An ALF is allowed to host in-person tours for a potential resident but they must:

  • Restrict the number of in-person tours to COVID negative spots within the building;
  • Confirm that all visitors maintain a safe physical distance between them, the staff, and current residents.
  • Restrict the amount of people per tour to be three or less.
  • Do not take impromptu tours with walk-in prospective residents and their family. Scheduled tours only.
  • Require visitors to follow the facility’s mask policy that they have designated.

Regarding the CDC Quarantine Recommendations

The following recommendations apply to the asymptomatic residents who have met the criteria for requiring quarantine. It should be noted that the recommendations do not apply to residents that are fully vaccinated and/or have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

These are the precautions that an ALF should take if a resident has had close contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19.

If a resident has had close contact with another person testing positive for COVID-19 or have themselves been confirmed with a COVID-19 infection, they should be kept in a single-person room. If the resident can safely reside in that room with the door closed, it should be kept closed.

If an ALF has seen many residents testing positive or having confirmed exposure to COVID-19, it will be recommended that entire sections of their facility be dedicated to those residents. This helps to prevent any spreading to the other non-exposed residents.

Regarding the Length of Time for Transmission-Based Precautions

This is an important question for both your loved one and you as their caregiver. If they test positive or have been exposed, it is good to know what the Texas ALF recommendations are to know the length of time you might need to go before seeing a loved one again.

For those that tested positive for COVID-19 but did not show any symptoms throughout the infection, you can expect to be quarantined for 10 days past the initial positive test. This assumes the resident is not immunocompromised.

For those that are immunocompromised, you can expect to be quarantined for at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared. It is also recommended that you can go 24 hours without fever reducing medication before quarantine can be lifted. Depending on the symptoms and recover, your loved one that is immunocompromised could potentially be quarantined up to 20 days.

The full list of all the updated recommendations and regulations from the Texas Health and Human Services can be found here. The document is several pages long but is worth reviewing if you have a loved one currently in an assisted living facility in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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