Gardenside, Cedarwood Update Visitation Guidelines

While news reports are that restrictions on visitation for residents living in nursing home and assisted livings have been lessened, many precautions remain in place. Gardenside and Cedarwood have updated visitation guidelines to reflect current federal guidelines.

Visitation restrictions are based on the vaccination rate of residents and tenants, as well as our county transmission rate (which is updated weekly by CMS.)

Gardenside and Cedarwood currently have 100 percent of residents and tenants vaccinated. Our county transmission rate currently classifies Jefferson County in the yellow risk category, according to

“Our county transmission rate has unfortunately risen in the past month. In late March our rate was less than 5 percent and CMS designated Jefferson as a ‘green’ county. We have increased and are now in the ‘yellow’ designation,” said Deb Sutton, RN, administrator of Gardenside and Cedarwood. “We are hopeful that this recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County will not continue. If our positivity rate gets back into the ‘red’ zone, we will have additional federal restrictons.”

Each Nursing Home and Assisted Living facility is to establish its own guidelines for visitation in the facility and for residents leaving the facility with family, based upon federal guidelines, and their staffing and ability to monitor and isolate residents as needed.

Guidelines for Visitation at Gardenside at this time:

  • Visits by family, friends and clergy are allowed for any resident not currently in quarantine.
  • Visits are allowed by those who are 6 and older.
  • All visits must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance using SignUp Genius. There is a link to SignUp Genius on the webpage –, locations, Gardenside.
  • All visitors will be screened for temperature, symptoms of COVID or potential exposures. Individuals not passing the screening will NOT be allowed entry.
  • Hand hygiene will be performed upon entry, as needed throughout visit, and upon leaving facility.
  • Outdoor visits are always preferred over indoor visits if weather allows and if tolerated by our residents. Staff will determine designated area for visitation. Visitors must remain in designated area for visit and avoid contact with other residents.
  • Visitors must remain masked for ENTIRE visit. Visitors who do not comply will be instructed to leave immediately.
  • Visits will be limited to 1 hour each, with no more than 2 visitors per resident per visit.
  • There is no eating or drinking during visits. If you bring treats for a resident, the nursing staff will assist by taking them and provide them to the resident after the visit.
  • 6 foot distancing should be maintained throughout the visit. Fully vaccinated residents (those 2 weeks past their completed vaccine series) may choose to allow close contact with visitors but masks must be in place for close contact (and entire visit.)
  • Visits must be monitored by staff to ensure all precautions are followed
  • Visitors who fail to follow the guidelines will be required to leave immediately. Any visitor who repeatedly fails to follow guidelines and masking requirement will be allowed closed window visits only.

In some cases, residents and tenants may be allowed to leave the facility with their loved ones. Requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Requests for family outings must be made Monday through Thursday and at least 48 hours in advance. Families must provide all details of the event to Gardenside or Cedarwood staff for consideration. A low-risk outing (such as a car ride without any stops or a physician visit) may be allowed without any quarantine or testing. A moderate-risk outing (such as a small gathering with controlled attendance and full mask use) may be allowed with the resident/tenant being tested twice weekly for two weeks following the outing. A high-risk outing (such as a public event, dining, etc.) requires the resident to be re-admitted into a private room for quarantine for 14 days, and the resident will be tested prior to the discontinuation of isolation. For a high-risk outing, the facility will take into consideration its supply of Personal Protective Equipment, availability of private room upon return of the resident/tenant, and staffing.

“Gardenside and Cedarwood are among a very small group of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state of Nebraska who have had no cases of COVID-19 diagnosed among residents or tenants,” Sutton said. “We have worked very hard throughout the pandemic to keep our residents and tenants safe, and we will continue to follow the guidelines that have made this possible.”

Those with questions about the guidelines may contact:

  • Deb Sutton RN – Administrator of Gardenside and Cedarwood — 402-729-6843
  • Laura DeBoer RN – Gardenside Director of Nursing Services — 402-587-5228
  • Raven Gerths – Gardenside Social Services Coordinator — 402-729-6849
  • Becky Bruce, LPN, Cedarwood Director of Nursing – 402-729-6883