AZDHS Releases Safety Requirements for Congregate Visitations

The Arizona Department of Health Services released guidance and other requirements Friday on how and when visitations to congregate settings can resume.

The state will use the same benchmarks it uses to determine when businesses can reopen, paving the way for visits to begin resuming immediately in Maricopa and other counties that have already met requirements.

For a county to reach the moderate community spread, it must have between 10-100 cases per 100,000 people, a percent positivity rate between 5-10% and a COVID-like illness rate between 5-10% for at least two consecutive weeks.

When reached, facilities can begin allowing visitors for limited outdoor and indoor visitation.

Visitors must also undergo symptom screening, wear a face covering at all times and adhere to physical distancing requirements.

When a county meets the minimal community spread level, congregating will be allowed and communal spaces will reopen.

Compassionate care visits, which are for end-of-life or terminal diseases, are now allowed regardless of meeting benchmarks, but facilities must limit contact as much as possible.

The dashboard, which uses data on a 12-day lag to ensure accuracy, is updated every Thursday.

The state health department also provided a way for visits to congregate settings to occur even if a county hasn’t met the benchmarks or if it doesn’t fall into the compassionate care category.

Visitors will have to present a negative COVID-19 test that’s less than 48 hours old and sign an attestation form saying that they have quarantined since the test was conducted.

The facility also will have requirements including maintaining a visitor log for contract tracing purposes, designating an assigned visitation space and using hand sanitizer before the start of the visit.


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