May 12, 2021 Updates To COVID-19 Regulations

ORLANDO, FL—May 12, 2021—The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has lifted many of the COVID-19 related government restrictions across the state. However, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), the state agency responsible for assisted living regulations, recently clarified that licensed Assisting Living Facilities must follow the most recent CDC Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations, issued on May 3, 2021.

This means we will continue to follow infection prevention and control methods, including social distancing, visitation screening, and source control (face masks) with newly added exceptions that mirror the recently released CDC guidelines (see below) for fully vaccinated residents. Testing for any individual with symptoms and strict adherence to all other CDC COVID-19 infection control and quarantine guidelines remain in place. Please note that any vaccinated resident considered to be immunocompromised should follow non-vaccinated resident CDC guidelines.

The most notable changes to the CDC guidelines include changes to visitation, congregate dining, and large group activities. The following updated Sonata COVID-19 Visitation Policy and Congregate Dining/Activity Protocols goes into effect, Monday, May 10, 2021:

VISITATION UPDATES:

  • As part of the screening process, our concierge will now be privately asking about vaccine status upon entry into the community. The CDC has relaxed visitation guidelines for vaccinated visitors and residents.
  • All visitors, regardless of vaccination, should continue to socially distance themselves (maintaining at least 6 feet between people) from other residents and visitors that are NOT part of their group. Visitors should also continue to maintain social distance from Sonata personnel in the community.
  • When both a resident and their visitor are vaccinated, they may elect to visit in the lobby and other designated common areas. The designated common visitation areas will be posted.
  • Sanitation spray, disposable wipes or paper towels, wastebasket, and hand sanitizer will be available in every designated visitation area.
  • If either the resident or visitor has not been vaccinated, visitation is limited to the resident apartment. If the apartment is shared, a private visiting space will be arranged.
  • The community may need to limit the number of visitors per resident, who are there at the same time, to maintain required social distancing in designated visitation areas.
  • The Community Concierge is now required to ask the vaccination status of the visitor. Any visitor declining to respond must adhere to the non-vaccinated guidelines.
  • The CDC continues to maintain that the safest approach is for everyone to maintain physical distancing and to wear source control (face masks). However, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their unvaccinated visitor(s) as long as both wear well-fitting source control (face masks).
  • Hand hygiene should be performed by the resident and the visitors before and after contact.
  • All visitor screening, social distancing, and source control (face mask) protocols remain in place for the time being.
  • Residents taking social excursions outside the facility will be educated about potential risks of public settings, particularly if they have not been fully vaccinated, and reminded to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. They will be encouraged and assisted with adherence to all recommended infection prevention and control measures, including source control, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.

GROUP ACTIVITIES:

  • Group activities are no longer limited to small groups.
  • Entertainers are now allowed, provided they are vaccinated and remain socially distanced from all staff and residents.
  • If ALL residents in a group activity are fully vaccinated, they may choose to have close contact. Masks are still required.
  • If unvaccinated residents are present, the unvaccinated residents should physically distance themselves from all others.
  • Residents taking social excursions outside the facility will be educated about potential risks of public settings, particularly if they have not been fully vaccinated, and reminded to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.

COMMUNAL DINING:

  • Fully vaccinated residents may elect to participate in communal dining without social distancing.
  • If unvaccinated, residents must continue to social distance and remain at least 6 feet from all others.
  • Fully vaccinated family members or other visitors may dine with their loved ones AS SPACE ALLOWS to socially distance themselves from others. The visitor must also wear source control (face mask) when not eating.
  • Unvaccinated family members or other visitors may not participate in communal dining.

TEAM MEMBERS:

  • All team members must continue to wear face masks while at work. However, fully vaccinated personnel may dine and socialize together in break rooms and conduct in-person meetings without face masks or social distancing. If unvaccinated personnel are present, everyone must continue to wear face masks. Unvaccinated team members should socially distance themselves from others.

Please remember, the updated CDC guidelines are MINIMAL guidelines. Regardless of vaccination status, socially distancing and wearing a face mask is the best way to protect oneself.

We remain optimistic that we will continue to see an ease in restrictions, especially for our vaccinated residents. As things continue to evolve, we will continue to keep you informed.

To learn more about safety and security at Sonata Senior Living, contact us today→ or schedule a visit →

Related Articles


Download Your Guide To Healthy Aging & Longevity in Florida


Florida sunshine does more than just boost your Vitamin D levels. It can add years to your life! Find your personal path to good health and longevity in our FREE guide to Healthy Aging in Florida.

DOWNLOAD OUR GUIDE TODAY