Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The COVID-19 pandemic took an enormous toll on the long term care community. But thanks to lifesaving vaccines, therapeutic treatments, and our dedicated providers, we are better able to manage COVID to help protect our residents and staff. AHCA/NCAL continues to work with the federal government and public health officials to assist long term care providers with guidance and resources to curb the spread of COVID-19. ​


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How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

 Providers

Please note tha​t skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities should consult CDC guidance. Providers should also check their local and state health departments for updates and potentially stricter guidance, but these are general, national prevention and containment tips:

 
Infection Control: Maintain i​nfection control policies and procedures as recommended by CDC.
 
Staff: Stay up to date on your COVID vaccinations! Regularly wash your hands and use PPE where appropriate. Stay home if you're sick.​ ​
 
Monitor: Keep an eye on rates of COVID in your surrounding community to determine the appropriate procedures for testing, PPE use, visitations, and other infection control measures.
 
PPE: Review federal, state and CDC guidance on appropriate use of masks, gowns, gloves, etc.​
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to public health officials. Keep residents, families and staff informed.
 
Engagement: Follow government guidelines for safe in-person visitations.


If a staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19: Have them go home immediately. 

If a resident shows symptoms of ​COVID-19​: Implement precautions based off CDC guidance, and contact the local health department. ​​

 Families

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. But thanks to vaccines, treatments, infection control procedures, and less severe strains of the virus, we are better able to manage COVID-19.

Here's how you can help: 

  • Stay in Touch: Make sure your loved one's facility has your emergency contact information. The facility may need to communicate with you about any developments regarding your loved one or about the facility as a whole.
    • Many long term care facilities are only permitted to share information about a resident to a designated health representative. Work together as a family unit to share information to keep everyone informed.​

  • Visiting the Facility: When visiting your loved one, coordinate with the staff ahead of time. 
    • Upon arrival, they may ask you some questions, take your temperature, have you take a COVID test, and/or make sure you're wearing proper protective equipment (like a mask) when you arrive. This is to make sure you do not pose as a potential risk to residents and staff.  
    • If you are asked to not enter the building, please understand this is for the safety of your loved one and everyone else in the building. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are following direction from the government to prevent the spread of this virus.
    • Please wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entering and throughout your visit. Wear a mask and any other protective equipment as directed by the facility.

  • #GetVaccinated: Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. High community spread is linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Stay up to date on your COVID vaccinations. ​

 Residents

​Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. But thanks to vaccines, treatments, infection control procedures, and less severe strains of the virus, we are better able to manage COVID-19.   

Here's how you can help reduce your risk: 

  • #GetVaccinated: Stay up to date on your COVID vaccinations. Your facility can provide more specific information about how they can help you get vaccinated. 
  • Take Precautions: Follow everyday preventive actions such as: 
    • Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers 
    • Covering your cough and sneezes 
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, when necessary  
  • Symptoms? Alert Staff: If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, tell a staff member immediately.​


 

 

COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody: New Codes for PEMGARDAhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/COVID-19-Monoclonal-Antibody-New-Codes-for PEMGARDA.aspxCOVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody: New Codes for PEMGARDA4/19/2024 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>On March 22, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an <a href="https://www.fda.gov/media/177068/download?attachment" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">emergency use authorization</a> for the PEMGARDA (pemivibart) investigational monoclonal antibody product for pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 in certain adults and adolescents.  </div><div><br></div><div>Providers must now use two new HCPCS codes, effective March 22, 2024: </div><div><br></div><div><ol><li>Product code Q0224  </li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">Administration code M0224 </span></li></ol></div><div><br></div><div>Providers can visit <a href="https://www.cms.gov/monoclonal" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies</a> for more information and get the most current <a href="https://www.cms.gov/medicare/payment/part-b-drugs/vaccine-pricing" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">list of billing codes</a>, including short descriptors, payment allowances, and effective and termination dates. Users may need to refresh their web browser if they recently visited the webpage. </div><div><br></div><div>Note: These products are subject to Medicare <a href="https://www.cms.gov/medicare/coding-billing/skilled-nursing-facility-snf-consolidated-billing" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">SNF Consolidated billing​</a>. <br></div><p>​</p>On March 22, 2024, the FDA released an emergency use authorization for the PEMGARDA investigational monoclonal antibody product for pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 in certain adults and adolescents.
Upcoming Webinars - Understanding Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting Starting April 1https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Upcoming-Webinars---Understanding-Changes-in-COVID-19-Vaccine-Reporting-Starting-April-1.aspxUpcoming Webinars - Understanding Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting Starting April 13/26/2024 4:00:00 AM<p>​<span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:arial, sans-serif;color:gray;">The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) will host a webinar on <strong><a href="https://cl.exct.net/?qs=a41e259210af6b9767ff9c3c1465d74ab2e9a0402f72d34f49b26aaa393b8feb803af121f94959d026b59ca97537d3917598f09ac76c67c0" title="Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET" data-linkto="https://" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"><span style="color:#046498;">Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET</span></a></strong>, providing an overview of important updates to the definition of long term care reporting for COVID-19 vaccines. If you are unable to attend the webinar on March 27, there is an opportunity to register for a second session that will cover the same topics on <strong><a href="https://cl.exct.net/?qs=a41e259210af6b9766d2d93f1b0dd709fab3346b49feef05bea6619149c343ebf56b63d2fae0bb340197a8a8f0cad1f33e30779c1fb0fce0" title="Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET" data-linkto="https://" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"><span style="color:#046498;">Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET</span></a></strong>. Advance registration is required to receive an email confirmation with the webinar details.<br> <br> As <a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Upcoming-Change-to-NHSN-Up-to-Date-Definition-for-LTC-COVID-19-Vaccine-Reporting.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">previously announced</a>, starting Monday, April 1, the criteria for being considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccine reporting will change. These changes are in alignment with the latest recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The adjustment ensures the most effective vaccine protection for residents aged 65 years and older.<br> <br> </span></p><blockquote style="padding-right:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:40px;font-size:14.6667px;border:none;"><strong>Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET<br></strong><a href="https://cdc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN__F98eZSGSReD3vznNL2tzg#/registration" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">Register in advance for this webinar</a>.<br>Hosted by NHSN</blockquote><br style="font-size:14.6667px;"><blockquote style="padding-right:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:40px;font-size:14.6667px;border:none;"><strong>Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET<br></strong><a href="https://cdc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_rjHZrnezSaqzTUzZ0jagxQ#/registration" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">Register in advance for this webinar</a>.<br>Hosted by NHSN</blockquote><br style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong style="font-size:14.6667px;">Questions</strong><div style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong></strong>For faster response times, please use NHSN-ServiceNow portal to submit questions to the NHSN Help Desk. The new portal can be accessed <a href="https://t.emailupdates.cdc.gov/r/?id=h8939affc%2c1b792689%2c1b793288&e=QUNTVHJhY2tpbmdJRD1VU0NEQ18yMTQ0LURNMTI0NjQxJkFDU1RyYWNraW5nTGFiZWw9VXBjb21pbmclMjBOSFNOJTIwVHJhaW5pbmdzJTIwZm9yJTIwTG9uZy10ZXJtJTIwQ2FyZSUyMEZhY2lsaXRpZXMlM0ElMjBDaGFuZ2VzJTIwdG8lMjBEZWZpbml0aW9uJTIwb2YlMjBVcCUyMHRvJTIwRGF0ZSUyMHdpdGglMjBDT1ZJRC0xOSUyMFZhY2NpbmVzJTIw&s=kEbv8PDY6WqIhaCN9qUy255PflLAM443JeJfU90pzjo" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">here</a> and should be used in place of <a href="mailto:%20nhsn@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsn@cdc.gov</a>, <a href="mailto:%20nhsntrain@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsntrain@cdc.gov</a>, and <a href="mailto:%20nhsndua@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsndua@cdc.gov</a>. </div><div style="font-size:14.6667px;"><br></div><div style="font-size:14.6667px;">ServiceNow will help the NHSN team respond to your questions faster. Users will be authenticated using CDC's Secure Access Management Services (SAMS), the same way you access NHSN. If you do not have a SAMS login, or are unable to access ServiceNow, you can still e-mail the NHSN Help Desk at <a href="mailto:%20nhsn@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsn@cdc.gov</a>.<br></div><p><br></p><h3 style="font-weight:bold;font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;color:#046498;font-size:20px;line-height:1;"><strong>#GetVaccinated</strong></h3><div style="font-size:14.6667px;">Help Protect Residents and Staff From Respiratory Viruses. Visit <a data-linkto="https://" data-cke-saved-href="https://www.ahcancal.org/Quality/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" href="/Quality/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" title="GetVaccinated.us" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">GetVaccinated.us</a> to Access AHCA/NCAL Resources and Templates.​<br></div><div style="font-size:14.6667px;"><br></div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div style="font-size:14.6667px;"><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div style="font-size:14.6667px;"><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Upcoming-Webinars---Understanding-Changes-in-COVID-19-Vaccine-Reporting-Starting-April-1/Social%20Graphic%205.png" alt="Social Graphic 5.png" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:262px;" /> </div></blockquote> </div></blockquote><p><br></p>
Upcoming Change to NHSN Up to Date Definition for LTC COVID-19 Vaccine Reportinghttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Upcoming-Change-to-NHSN-Up-to-Date-Definition-for-LTC-COVID-19-Vaccine-Reporting.aspxUpcoming Change to NHSN Up to Date Definition for LTC COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting3/19/2024 4:00:00 AM​​The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is changing the definition of "up to date" for COVID-19 vaccine reporting in long term care (LTC) beginning Quarter 2 of 2024 (week of April 1, 2024). This change, which reflects the <a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/New-COVID-19-Vaccine-Recommendations-for-Older-Adults.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">latest guidance</a> from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aims to ensure the most effective vaccine protection for individuals, especially those aged 65 years and older.<br><br><strong>Key Points </strong><br><ul><li>The ACIP and CDC provided <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2024/s-0228-covid.html" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">new recommendations</a> of COVID-19 vaccines for individuals aged 65 years and older.   </li><li>Those 65 and older are now considered up to date when they have received 2 doses of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine, or 1 dose of the updated vaccine in the past 4 months. For individuals under 65 years, there is no change; they are up to date with 1 dose of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine since its approval in September 2023.    </li><li>The updated definition applies to both the NHSN Weekly HCP and Resident Vaccination Forms. </li><li>These changes will be implemented at the beginning of Quarter 2 of 2024 (week of April 1, 2024).   </li></ul><strong>Data Reporting in Quarter 2 of 2024</strong><br><ul><li>Residents and health care personnel aged 65 and older should ONLY be counted as up to date after receiving a second dose of the 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccine or if they have received 1 dose in the past 4 months. <br></li><li>Avoid over-reporting:  Residents aged 65 and older who have received only 1 dose of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine more than 4 months ago should NOT be counted as up to date. <br></li><li>Continue to count residents and health care personnel under 65 as up to date with 1 dose of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.</li></ul><strong>Upcoming Training Webinars</strong><br>The NHSN Vaccination team will host two webinars to detail these changes to the surveillance definition of being up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Both webinars cover the same information. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar. <br><br><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><strong>Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET<br></strong><a href="https://cdc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN__F98eZSGSReD3vznNL2tzg#/registration" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">Register in advance for this webinar</a>.<br>Hosted by NHSN</blockquote><br><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><strong>Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET<br></strong><a href="https://cdc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_rjHZrnezSaqzTUzZ0jagxQ#/registration" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">Register in advance for this webinar</a>.<br>Hosted by NHSN</blockquote><br><strong>Questions</strong><div><strong></strong>For faster response times, please use NHSN-ServiceNow portal to submit questions to the NHSN Help Desk. The new portal can be accessed <a href="https://t.emailupdates.cdc.gov/r/?id=h8939affc%2c1b792689%2c1b793288&e=QUNTVHJhY2tpbmdJRD1VU0NEQ18yMTQ0LURNMTI0NjQxJkFDU1RyYWNraW5nTGFiZWw9VXBjb21pbmclMjBOSFNOJTIwVHJhaW5pbmdzJTIwZm9yJTIwTG9uZy10ZXJtJTIwQ2FyZSUyMEZhY2lsaXRpZXMlM0ElMjBDaGFuZ2VzJTIwdG8lMjBEZWZpbml0aW9uJTIwb2YlMjBVcCUyMHRvJTIwRGF0ZSUyMHdpdGglMjBDT1ZJRC0xOSUyMFZhY2NpbmVzJTIw&s=kEbv8PDY6WqIhaCN9qUy255PflLAM443JeJfU90pzjo" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">here</a> and should be used in place of <a href="mailto:%20nhsn@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsn@cdc.gov</a>, <a href="mailto:%20nhsntrain@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsntrain@cdc.gov</a>, and <a href="mailto:%20nhsndua@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsndua@cdc.gov</a>. </div><div><br></div><div>ServiceNow will help the NHSN team respond to your questions faster. Users will be authenticated using CDC's Secure Access Management Services (SAMS), the same way you access NHSN. If you do not have a SAMS login, or are unable to access ServiceNow, you can still e-mail the NHSN Help Desk at <a href="mailto:%20nhsn@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">nhsn@cdc.gov</a>.<br></div><p>​​​<br></p><h3 style="color:#046498;font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:20px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1;"><strong>#GetVaccinated</strong></h3><div>Help Protect Residents and Staff From Respiratory Viruses. Visit <a data-linkto="https://" data-cke-saved-href="https://www.ahcancal.org/Quality/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" href="/Quality/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" title="GetVaccinated.us" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">GetVaccinated.us</a> to Access AHCA/NCAL Resources and Templates.​<br></div><div><strong>​<br></strong></div><div style="text-align:left;"><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Upcoming-Change-to-NHSN-Up-to-Date-Definition-for-LTC-COVID-19-Vaccine-Reporting/Social%20Graphic%203.png" alt="Social Graphic 3.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></div><p>​<br></p>
Current CDC and CMS Expectations Regarding COVID-19 Infection Controlhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Current-CDC-and-CMS-Expectations-Regarding-COVID-19-Infection-Control-.aspxCurrent CDC and CMS Expectations Regarding COVID-19 Infection Control3/19/2024 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2024/p0301-respiratory-virus.html" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">simplified respiratory virus recommendations</a> for the general public. <a href="https://s1.view.sfmc-marketing.com/view_email.aspx?qs=e357bdd1a82a18f50f4378444608445b5cb7b8892d4baab421a7b3eb806168dcf03cf1c3aec4b6b631cf7762678688be63502635112d62d69e81c6541257068146bcc1ac8141db4126332b09123d941ea92f864ac43397f4" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">AHCA/NCAL clarified</a> that these recommendations do not apply to most health care settings, including nursing homes. <strong>However, they may apply to assisted living (AL) providers based on the level of care provided in the community. </strong>NCAL published <a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CDC-Updates-Respiratory-Virus-Recommendations-for-AL-Communities.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">additional information</a> to help AL communities determine which guidance to follow.   </div><div> </div><div>Nursing homes are currently required at §483.80 of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) <a href="https://www.cms.gov/medicare/provider-enrollment-and-certification/guidanceforlawsandregulations/downloads/appendix-pp-state-operations-manual.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">State Operations Manual</a> to follow the CDC’s <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html?cm_ven=ExactTarget&cm_cat=CDC+Updates+Respiratory+Virus+Guidance&cm_pla=Mark%27s+Memos+2024+Marketing+List&cm_ite=COVID-19&cm_lm=1232373369&cm_ainfo=&&&&&" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Healthcare</a>. Nursing homes must also follow the return to work guidance for health care personnel outlined in <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with COVID-19 Infection or Exposure</a>. </div><div> </div><div>Nursing homes are not required to follow separate testing guidance; this requirement was rescinded by CMS through <a href="https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-38-nh.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">QSO-20-38</a>.   </div><div> </div><div>Providers should also refer to their state or local health department for any additional guidance and/or requirements that may be in place.   </div><div> </div><div>Please email <a href="mailto:covid19@ahca.org" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank">covid19@ahca.org​</a> with any questions. <br></div><p>​</p>Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new simplified respiratory virus recommendations for the general public.

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