According to federal data as of July 11, 2021, less than 80 percent of current nursing home staff in California were vaccinated. However, variation from facility to facility was extreme, ranging from 0 to 100 percent. While 827 California nursing homes reported that 75 percent or more of staff are vaccinated, over 350 facilities fall below that rate. More than one hundred California nursing facilities reported that less than half of their staff is vaccinated or reported no data.
Whenever possible, CANHR recommends that people looking for nursing homes avoid facilities where less than 75 percent of staff are currently vaccinated. All other things being equal, give preference to facilities where all, or nearly all, of staff and residents are vaccinated.
Avoid Long Term Care Facilities with Restrictive Visitation Policies
Despite plummeting rates of COVID infections and deaths in nursing homes and the lifting of public health-oriented restrictions, long term care facilities throughout the state are still limiting visits from families and friends to a measly 30 minutes per week. Other facilities, in stark contrast, are permitting extensive daily visitation. The wide range of visitation policies among facilities has been enabled by the State’s continued waiver of laws that normally require broad visitation access for residents.
Potential residents and their loved ones are strongly encouraged to speak with the managers of facilities they are considering and ask for written copies of their visitation policies. Facilities that are not willing to share their policies in writing or those that have restrictive policies should be avoided.
Some facilities are not going to allow more visitation until it starts costing them customers.
Long term care residents were locked down and closed off from visitation in March 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, state regulators have relaxed the lockdown but continue to permit various levels of visitation restrictions that have frustrated residents and their loved ones. The goal of this town hall is to inform participants and viewers of the current state of the visitation rules, explain how advocacy can be used to gain more visitation access, and answer key visitation questions.
The town hall speakers are CANHR staff attorneys Tony Chicotel and Mike Dark and Essential Caregivers Coalition co-founders Maitely Weismann and Melody Taylor Stark.
By Reed Abelson, New York Times, July 28 2021 The Biden administration has quietly undone a Trump policy that severely restricted penalties imposed on facilities that violated safety standards. Maureen McKinney of Ellensburg, Wash., was “horrified” by the minimal penalty imposed at a nursing home where a Covid-19 outbreak claimed the lives of 15 residents, including her husband’s.