Health Department Issues New Restrictions for Nursing Homes
Starting Friday, the Missoula City County Health Department is issuing a new order regarding nursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and retirement homes with communal care, aka Independent Living, citing the fact that the Governor’s office allows local health departments to ‘enact requirements that are more restrictive than state guidelines’.
At least ten such facilities currently have identified, through testing, as many as 60
positive cases of COVID-19 among residents and/or staff;
According to the order, there are 13 restrictions that will be applied to such facilities starting on Friday, October 16.
They include the following:
1) No visitors are allowed except for end-of life compassionate care.
2) All entryways must have signs posted prohibiting visitors.
3) Patients or residents may be outdoors. Facilities that have COVTD-19 present shall not
allow residents to visit other homes or indoor facilities except for medical purposes.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) Facilities that are not under facility-specific orders due to presence of COVTD-19 may allow
group activities if all participants wear cloth face coverings and maintain six feet distance at
all times. Facilities that are under specific orders due to presence of COVID-19 among staff or
residents shall cancel group activities.
7) Facilities that are not under specific orders due to presence of COVID-19 may allow
communal dining if all participants maintain six feet of distance at all times and are masked
upon entry to and exit from dining. Facilities that are under specific orders due to presence
of COVID-19 among staff or residents shall cancel communal dining.
8) 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.i,
9) Residents or patients shall wear a cloth face covering except when outside or alone in a
separate room. Allowed visitors shall wear a cloth face covering when in the facility.
10)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.
11) COVID-19 symptom checks shall occur three times daily for all residents and staff.
12)Staff are not allowed to work if symptomatic.
13)Patients or residents who are symptomatic or receive a positive test result must be
The Health Department stated that the order will remain in effect until it is either revised or revoked by the Missoula City County Health Officer.
The order was signed by Ellen Leahy, the County Health Officer.