My relative is in a residential care home. Can I visit them during the state’s COVID-19 restrictions?

The Commissioner of Public Health may issue restrictions on the number, category and frequency of outside visitors and the screening and protective measures at residential care homes.


Individuals who are permitted to enter these residences include:


• First responders, including emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting and emergency management personnel;


• Family members, domestic partners or other persons designated by a patient only when the facility’s medical director, a licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse has determined such patient to be at the end stage of life with death being imminent;


• Any person authorized by law to oversee or investigate the provision of care and services; and


• Service providers who are required to do maintenance or repair necessary without delay for the facility’s continued operation.


When in attendance of any gathering, please exercise smart public health practices and avoid close physical contact, including shaking hands, hugging, etc.


Individuals who come to a DMHAS-operated facility will be subject to a COVID-19 risk screening and may be refused access if they are deemed to be at risk for COVID-19. Admitted visitors will be required to use appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) in accordance with CDC guidelines while in the facility.


Any requirement for personal service is waived as it relates to any person currently located in a facility that has restricted visitor access at this time.


Service may be made by serving an administrator or the administrator's designee.


Any requirement for an in-person meeting, hearing, or screening is also waived: meetings, hearings, or screenings may take place by any other method that allows for the participation of the interested parties.


Please see Executive Order 7f for more details.


For information specific to visiting people living in Department of Developmental Services (DDS) facilities or programs, please visit the DDS website here.