Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Requirements-for-Visitors-in-Acute-Health-Care-and-Long-Term-Care-Settings-FAQ Public Health Order Questions & Answers: Requirements for Visitors in Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings

Public Health Order Questions & Answers: Requirements for Visitors in Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings

Updates as of September 16, 2021: 

  • Included language about adult protective services 

​Are fire, police, ambulance, other pre-hospital care workers and county child welfare and adult protective services emergency response (ER) social workers who may need to enter the facility while on duty for their job, covered under this Order?

No, these staff are not deemed visitors if they are entering the facility while on duty for their job, and therefore are not covered by this Order. 

Are parents, legal guardians, support persons or those with power of attorney required to comply with the visitor requirements?

Generally, yes, unless one of the following exemptions applies:

  • If they are visiting with a patient in any of the covered facilities, and that patient is in critical condition, when death may be imminent.

  • If they are parents or legal guardians and their presence is legally necessary to make decisions about care and treatment for a minor child.

  • If they are support persons for a patient with physical, intellectual, developmental disability, or cognitive impairment and the facility has determined that allowing their presence, without vaccination or testing, is required as a reasonable accommodation to support the patient with a disability.

  • If they have power of attorney and the visit is to address legal matters that cannot be postponed or accomplished virtually, including, but not limited to, voting, estate planning, advance health care directives, Power of Attorney, and transfer of property title.

For the persons listed above when exempt, the requirements of Section III of the Public Health Order, will still apply:

a. wear a well-fitting face mask (a surgical mask or double masking is recommended) upon entry and at all times within the facility;

b. wear any other personal protective equipment (PPE) while in the patient's room that facility personnel deem appropriate to the situation; and

c. physically distance from health care personnel and other patients/residents/visitors that are not part of their group at all times while in the facility.

What if a patient is being seen for urgent or emergent needs (for example, labor and delivery or emergency room services) and is accompanied by another person?  How would that accompanying individual need to meet the testing requirement?

Individuals who may be accompanying a person who is seeking urgent or emergent care are exempt from the vaccination and testing requirements of this Order. For such persons the requirements of Section III of the Public Health Order will still apply:

a. wear a well-fitting face mask (a surgical mask or double masking is recommended) upon entry and at all times within the facility;

b. wear any other personal protective equipment (PPE) while in the patient's room that facility personnel deem appropriate to the situation; and

c. physically distance from health care personnel and other patients/residents/visitors that are not part of their group at all times while in the facility.

Does the Order apply to patients who may be visiting the facility for outpatient services?

The Order does not apply to person who may be visiting the facility for outpatient services.  Additionally, a person who accompanies a patient to an outpatient appointment in an acute health care facility is not considered a visitor for purposes of this Order.

Are at-home tests, like Binax-Now, accepted?

Only COVID-19 tests from approved testing sites are accepted. Facilities are encouraged to set up testing programs on site.

Are other NAAT tests (e.g. ID Now) beyond SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antigen acceptable?

Yes, as long as the test has Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or be operating per the Laboratory Developed Test requirements by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Does the Order cover children who are not currently eligible for vaccination?

Yes. Visitors between the ages of 2-11 should be tested prior to entering the facility for visitation.


Originally published on August 20, 2021