Following guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, St. Louis County has issued new guidelines that relax the rules restricting visits to nursing home residents due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The new rules allow for indoor visits if a facility has not had any COVID-19 cases among staff, residents, or facility acquired cases in the past fourteen days.

Even if the facility meets the above standard, there are additional restrictions on the number of visitors a resident can receive. Each resident is allowed five designated people to be eligible for indoor visits. A maximum of two of those designated visitors can be present for any given visit. During the visit, both the resident and visitors must wear masks and remain at least six feet apart to comply with social distancing guidelines. If the resident cannot leave their bed, visitors can visit the resident’s room if the visitors also wear gloves and a gown in addition to a mask.

Outdoor visits are also allowed for residents who are asymptomatic and not suspected of having COVID-19.

Visitors must book an appointment time in advance of any visit. Advance appointments ensure that the facility the capacity to conduct properly socially distanced visits.

If you want to visit someone in a nursing home, please contact the facility directly to first see if they meet the criteria to accept visitors and if they have available appointments. Individuals should also check what personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, gowns, etc.) is required and whether or not the facility provides that equipment for visitors.

For help figuring out how to pay for a nursing home stay, please call Martha C. Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.