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The Georgia Department of Public Health Issues Reopening Guidance to Long-Term Care Facilities

Written by: Brittany H. Cone, Esq. and Jordan Johnson, Esq.

On September 15, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued another COVID-19 related Executive Order with significant impact on Long-Term Care Facilities, including nursing facilities and assisted living communities. This Executive Order expressly incorporated the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Administrative Order providing guidance to Long-Term Care Facilities regarding reopening. This guidance is based on phases and addresses a variety of topics including testing, visitation, group activities, communal dining, and resident trips outside facilities. Similar to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ recently released testing requirements, the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Reopening Guidance utilizes both facility and county specific positivity rate metrics to determine each facility’s “reopening phase”.  The applicable county rates can be found at: https://data.cms.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-Nursing-Home-Data/bkwz-xpvg/ .

If assistance is needed in interpreting or implementing this guidance, please let us know.