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Restrictions to Protect Residents in Skilled Nursing Care Facilities Temporarily Remain in Place in Counties in the Green Phase of the Governor's Process to Reopen Pennsylvania

June 2, 2020

As counties enter the Green Phase of Governor Wolf's Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, congregate care restrictions remain in place. Skilled nursing care facilities (SNFs) licensed by the Department of Health (Department) are  congregate care facilities. Per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Nursing Home Reopening Recommendation for State and Local Officials, the Department is following the recommendation of choosing a longer waiting period after the counties in which the SNFs are located enter the Green Phase before relaxing restrictions in those SNFs. Due to the nature of the vulnerable population living in SNFs, the restrictions put in place by the Department's Interim Guidance for Skilled Nursing Care Facilities During COVID-19 shall remain in effect for at least 28 more days after the beginning of the Green Phase in those counties.

To develop a well-informed, manageable plan that ensures a measured approach for the safe return to activities, visitation, and other events for residents of SNFs, the Department is conferring with stakeholders that include the state's ombudsman, representatives from SNFs, nursing home associations, other government agencies, and academia. Upon completion of that process, the Department will issue guidance that amends the restrictions currently in place.

For additional resources regarding COVID-19 and SNFs in Pennsylvania, please visit the Department's COVID-19 Information for Nursing Homes webpage.