ALFs must allow unrestricted communication and visitation.


“A facility must allow residents unrestricted communication, including personal visitation with any person of the resident’s choice – refer to §553.267(a)(3)(J).”

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published Provider Letter 2022-17, Expiration of Emergency Rules (PDF), for assisted living facilities. The letter reminds providers that following the expiration of the ALF COVID-19 emergency rules, they are responsible for developing, implementing, enforcing, and maintaining infection prevention and control policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of the residents.

But note this: “A facility must allow residents unrestricted communication, including personal visitation with any person of the resident’s choice – refer to §553.267(a)(3)(J).”

The Texas Long-term Care Ombudsman's Office agrees that this reads ALFs cannot restrict visitation.

So my friends, unless and/or until another emergency rule is put in place restricting visitation, if an ALF were restrict you as an essential caregiver during a COVID outbreak, I would highly suggest that you as an EC should simply say, “okay, I’m just a regular visitor today”.

I'm not joking.

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