Additional Information for Community Congregate Living Settings (e.g., Group Homes, Assisted Living)
What You Need to Know
- Facilities that serve unrelated people who live in close proximity and share at least one common room (e.g., group or personal care homes and assisted living facilities) should apply prevention strategies based on COVID-19 hospital admission levels for their general operations.
- Healthcare services delivered in these settings should be informed by CDC’s Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations.
- Facilities can also assess the unique risks of their setting and the populations they serve and use enhanced COVID-19 prevention strategies, described below, to help reduce the impact of COVID-19.
Facility operators should balance the need for COVID-19 prevention with the impact from reducing access to daily services and programming. Facilities may not be able to apply all enhanced COVID-19 prevention strategies due to local resources, facility and population characteristics, and/or other factors. Therefore, they can add combinations of these enhanced prevention strategies as feasible for a layered approach to increase the level of protection.
How Can Congregate Living Settings Assess Risk?
In addition to monitoring their COVID-19 hospital admission levels, facilities can consider factors that would indicate heightened risk, including the following:
- A substantial portion of people in the facility who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, for example due to underlying health conditions (including immunocompromise), older age, having certain disabilities, or poor access to care.
- Facility structural and operational characteristics that might accelerate spread, such as a high volume of outside visitors, poor ventilation, areas where many people sleep close together, or resident population’s ability to adhere to COVID prevention strategies.
- Active COVID-19 spread occurring in the facility.
How Can Congregate Living Settings Mitigate Risk?
In addition to implementing the recommended prevention steps at each COVID-19 hospital admission level, congregate settings can consider adopting any of the following enhanced prevention strategies:
- Increase and improve ventilation as much as possible and consider moving activities outdoors, when possible.
- Consult with the health department about testing strategies, including whether to implement routine screening testing.
- Expand use of masks and respirators.
- Add enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols.
- Create physical distance in congregate areas where possible and/or reduce movement and contact between different parts of the facility and between the facility and the community, as appropriate.
- How can you assess a facility’s risk?
- What can be done to help keep people in a facility safe from COVID-19?
- When should a facility choose to implement quarantine?