Dining and meals

Q: Should residents eat meals in their rooms?

Below is historical information. Information on this page may be useful but some NH DHHS guidance is no longer in force. For current guidance, please see Reopening, and visit the NH DHHS COVID-19 web page for Long Term Care Facilities.

and Q: Are the recommendations similar for Assisted Living Facilities? (short answer: yes, details below)

A: That depends on the phase your facility is in. See NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control issued guidance (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21) on phased reopening including visitors, activities, meals, etc.

The link above includes a chart of the phases with guidelines for each phase. It also explains how to move through the phases. DHHS notes the guidance is for “LTCFs, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential care facilities.”

You can find links to CMS’s county positivity data (one measure that determines phases) on the NH Covid Alliance Senior Support Team public page.

Or, on the CMS website, see Nursing Home Data page by scrolling down to the COVID-19 section. Note that your phase is determined by county positivity rate, even if you are in a city that has its own data on the DHHS dashboard. DHHS also issued a guide, Navigating Data Dashboards. Again, these data sources are in one place on the NH Covid Alliance Senior Support team main page.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidelines for infection control and prevention of COVID-19 in nursing homes, which included recommending communal meals be suspended when an outbreak is occurring. See more on p. 45 of AMDA’s (The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine) resource guide. Again once you are not in an active outbreak, see the NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control issued guidance (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21) on phased reopening

The CDC issued guidance for Assisted Living Facilities, and also for retirement and independent living facilities, that is similar to advice for nursing homes and long term care facilities.

See also: Activities, Haircuts & other personal services

This page updated 5/10/21

Information is changing rapidly as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves. Please take the links on these pages, especially the NH DHHS, which coordinates the COVID-19 response in our state, and other public health resources such as your local public health department, the CDC and WHO to find the latest guidance and recommendations.

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