June 5th – Phased Reopening Guidance

Dear Residents, Resident Representatives, and Concerned Families,

Stonehill Communities received information from the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on guidance for Iowa Long Term Care Communities regarding the phased approach for re-opening and we would like to share this guidance with you.

We will continue to provide additional updates on Stonehill's policy and response to this in the coming days.

If you have questions please contact Peggy Stockel, V.P. of Operations/Administrator or Matt Jahn, Director of Healthcare Services at 563-557-7180.

Safety of the Stonehill residents and staff continue to be our top priority.


Peggy Stockel

Reopening Guidance for Iowa LTCs

To: Nursing homes in Iowa

Re: COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Iowa Long-Term Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued “Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations for State and Local Officials” (QSO-20-30-NH) on May 18, 2020. Our agencies, along with support from Governor Reynolds’ office and input from Iowa Health Care Assocation and LeadingAge Iowa who represent Iowa’s nursing homes, have conducted an extensive review of the CMS guidance. CMS recommendations encourage state survey agencies in coordination with the state public health agency to develop mitigation protocols with consideration given to the specific circumstances existing in the state and local communities.

After extensive review, our agencies, with input from professional associations, have created a modified set of guidelines specific for Iowa’s long-term care facilities. Read the modified guidelines here: https://dia.iowa.gov/document/dia-and-idph-covid-19-ltc-reopening-phases-and-testing?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery Iowa’s guidance maintains a three-phased approach, consistent with the CMS guidance. However, the Iowa guidance provides for a different approach related to testing of residents and staff during phase 2 and phase 3.

In addition, the Iowa guidance provides details for the various phases to help strike a balance between the need to maintain mitigation efforts that minimize exposure to COVID-19 and the need to maintain the quality of life and dignity necessary for the psychosocial well-being of residents.

Our agencies recognize the difficult challenges Iowa’s long-term facilities have faced in protecting vulnerable Iowans during the COVID-19 response. We are grateful for your hard work and dedication to these efforts. We want to thank you in advance as you work through the phases of the attached guidance. Your efforts will be essential in maintaining protection for your residents while also addressing their needs and desires related to quality of life.


Gerd Clabaugh, Director
Iowa Department of Public Health
Larry Johnson, Jr., Director
Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
Dr. Caitlin Pedati, M.D., Public Health Medical Director
Iowa Department of Public Health



Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
Lucas State Office Building, Third Floor
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0083