Missoula City-County Health Department relaxes restrictions for long-term care facilities

This week, Health Officer Ellen Leahy issued new COVID-19 guidance and requirements for

long-term care, assisted living, and retirement homes with communal spaces operating in

Missoula County.

These new requirements take into consideration that many residents have been offered

voluntary COVID-19 vaccination, yet not all residents and staff have been vaccinated for COVID-

19 and transmission of COVID-19 is still occurring in Missoula County and Montana. Facilities

under the facility-specific health officer orders shall follow the listed rules effective


1. Visitors are allowed in the facility if the following requirements are met:

. Face coverings or masks are required at all times, in accordance with the February 12,

2021 Health Board Rule.

. Visitation occurs in a private room that is not shared by another resident.

. Visitors must also wear face coverings in private rooms.

. Signs are posted at all entryways stating that “All visitors ages five and older must wear

a face covering or mask at all times.”

2. New admits and patients being transferred from another health care facility, including those

being readmitted after hospital discharge, shall be quarantined for 14 days from the admit or

transfer date.

3. Only facilities that can maintain strict isolation may admit COVID-19 patients from hospital

discharge while the patient’s isolation period is still in effect. Group activities and communal

dining are only allowed if the follow conditions are met:

. The facility is not under specific orders due to the presence of COVID-19;

. Participants and diners wear cloth face coverings at all times, except when actively

eating or drinking, and;

. Participants and diners maintain at least 6-feet physical distance from others at all


4. Group activities are not allowed at facilities that are under specific Orders issued due to the

presence of COVID-19.

5. All staff shall wear at least surgical masks, cloth masks are not acceptable; use universal

precautions and related PPE for all personal care; and fit tested N-95’s when providing oral care

to a suspected or known COVID-19 case and when performing any aerosolizing procedures on

any resident or patient, regardless of known COVID-19 status.

6. Residents or patients shall wear a cloth face covering except when outside or alone in a

separate room.

7. Any facility that experiences a positive COVID-19 test among staff or residents shall offer

testing to all residents and provide testing to all staff regardless of symptoms. The Montana

Department of Public Health and Human Services will provide test kits and analysis, the facility

is responsible for collecting the specimens.

8. COVID-19 symptom checks shall occur twice daily for all residents and once at shift onset for


9. Staff are not allowed to work if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

10. Patients or residents who have COVID-19 compatible symptoms, or who receive a positive

test result, must be immediately isolated.


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