Guidance for Temporary COVID-19 Beds in Large Common SpacesAs of 11/13/20
This guidance is for health care and long-term care facilities seeking to establish a COVID-19 care unit in a large common space. Many facilities have had a need to isolate COVID-19-positive or COVID-19-exposed residents or patients. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has received proposals to locate multiple beds or cots in large common spaces, such as therapy rooms, dining rooms, and dayroom areas. Before adding beds or creating a COVID-19 unit, the facility must complete and submit the following form to the Minnesota Department of Health, Health Regulation Division (HRD):
After submitting the form, the MDH Engineering Services Section will review the physical environment for the proposed added beds or COVID-19 unit.
The following items are considered in our review of your proposal. Each facility is different, but the following list should help with your interdisciplinary team’s risk assessment and mitigation plan:
- Ensure the proposed changes are compliant with your facility emergency pandemic plan.
- Visual privacy must be given to each bed in the unit. For example, the bed areas may be separated by curtains or dividers.
- The bedroom spaces must have room for residents and staff to move around. Actual clearances are determined by the risk assessment and mitigation plan. Generally, 3 feet of clearance around the sides of the bed that require access by the resident/patient or staff is adequate for ambulatory residents/patients.
- Each bed area must have access to electrical outlets. The number of electrical outlets needed will be determined by the risk assessment and mitigation plan.
- Each bed must have a way to notify nursing staff that they need assistance. This could be accomplished with an extension of the nurse call system, a wireless button that sounds a “doorbell,” or a simple bell.
- The air in the space should generally flow from clean to less clean. This generally means that air should flow into the room near the entrance of the space and flow out of the opposite end of the room.
- Toilet facilities and handwashing stations must be available in the space. The number of toilet facilities and handwashing stations are determined by the risk assessment and mitigation plan. Generally, one common toilet room can serve up to a maximum of eight residents/patients.
- The facility must establish storage for each resident’s belongings. Ideally, this storage will be in the bed area of the individual resident/patient.