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C-TAC is calling on the Biden-Harris Administration to explicitly address ongoing visitation challenges for people with serious illness as part of their national COVID-19 response strategy.

In a letter to the Administration’s COVID-19 response leadership, C-TAC noted the suffering that strict visitation restrictions have caused seriously-ill patients, their families, and the providers taking care of them. A comprehensive response strategy should explicitly address how visitation guidance and protocols should be informed by the changing pandemic environment, including increasing vaccination rates and the emergence of new virus variants.

In addition to the emotional toll of isolation, restrictions make it more difficult for family members to advocate for their loved one with serious illness and discuss goals of care. Health care facilities are doing their best to bridge the gap through virtual visits and other methods, but more coordinated guidance is needed. And while community infection rates, personal protective equipment (PPE) availability, and data on how well vaccines prevent transmission are key factors to consider when examining visitation guidelines, the impact these practices have on the quality-of-life of patients and their loved ones should also be taken into account.

The letter is now available on the C-TAC website. We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration on their comprehensive COVID-19 response efforts.

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