SLCR Guidance on Residents Leaving the Facility – Updated March 17, 2020 (Additions in red text)

This is guidance from SLCR; it is not a mandate but rather provides facilities with an avenue to protect the health and safety of residents.

It is appropriate for facilities to ask residents not to leave the facility, unless for a necessary medical reason that cannot be addressed in the facility. For those insistent on taking residents out of the facility, SLCR recommends the following:

  • Only legally authorized persons may remove a resident from the facility. This may be a durable power of attorney for healthcare (if the DPOA has been enacted), a legal guardian or the resident themselves.
  • Before a resident leaves, the facility should follow the discharge regulations to the extent possible so that the resident receives appropriate care while away from the facility.
  • Upon leaving the facility, the resident, their legal representative and all those required by regulation should be given a written emergency discharge notice. It is imperative that the notice contain the required elements stated in regulation, including the reason for discharge (as permitted in regulation) and the location to which the resident is being discharged.
  • Those taking the resident out of the facility are to be informed that the resident will not be permitted to return until the restrictions currently in place are lifted. When appropriate, residents may be required to obtain clearance from their medical provider which may include proof of a negative COVID-19 screening.

For residents, primarily in RCFs and ALFs, who leave the facility on a frequent basis, the facility will need to determine at what point those outings pose a risk to the health and safety of the residents in the facility. This includes, but is not limited to, the location the resident is going, whether there are positive COVID-19 cases in the community, whether there is community transmission of the virus, etc. This guidance does not require facilities to issue an emergency discharge notice every time a resident leaves a facility. The resident and their legal guardian, when applicable, should discourage outings, attempt to meet the needs of residents without them leaving the facility, clearly communicate the expectations to residents (including any screening required upon return) and work together should the need arise to give an emergency discharge notice.