Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working with the federal government​​​ to ensure nursing hom​​es, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities for indiv​​iduals with intellectual disabilities receive necessary supplies and guidance to prevent the spread ​of this virus.​

Visit this website regularly for the latest information that AHCA/NCAL has to share with long term care providers about 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, updated where needed and increase transmission-based precautions.
 
Staff: #GetVaccinated! Regularly wash your hands and use PPE where appropriate. Stay home if you're sick.​ ​
 
Limit Interactions: Implement social distancing within the facility where possible to help prevent the spread of infection.
 
PPE: Regularly review federal and state guidance on appropriate use of masks, gowns, gloves, etc. and maintain your inventory​.
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
 
Engagement: Follow government guidelines for safe in-person visitations, keep residents connected with loved ones remotely, and offer meaningful activities adapted for this situation​.


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

If a resident shows symptoms of ​COVID-19​: Implement droplet precaution, 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. This is why in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Adaptations (e.g., limited indoor and outdoor visits) and exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g., end-of-life or compassionate care visits) may be made. ​We understand this is difficult, but the safety and wellbeing of your loved one is our top priority.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with them, and how you can help: 

  • Communicate with your loved ones through alternative ways for the time being, whether by phone, video, social media, or other methods. Ask the facility about ways they can help with this.  
  • 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.       
  • If you must come to the facility, coordinate with the staff ahead of time. Learn more about how you can prepare for a visit to a long term care facility
    • 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.  
    • ​If you are permitted in, 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. Avoid touching your loved ones or other individuals in the building. Again, we know this is difficult, but the virus is very contagious and social distancing is important at this time. ​
  • Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. High community spread is linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others. Get the COVID-19 vaccine, when you are eligible. 
  • ​Warn your loved ones about potential scammers during this crisis and encourage them to be cautious.​

 Residents

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. We understand this is a difficult and stressful time. Those who work in long term care facilities are focused on your safety and wellbeing.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with your loved ones, and how you can help: 

  • Ask the facility about other ways you can communicate with your loved ones, whether by phone, video or social media.  
  • If you haven't already, get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your facility is working with a pharmacy or state/local officials to offer vaccinations​ and can provide more specific information about how and when this will work. 
  • 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 
    • Keeping 6-feet distance from other residents and staff (when possible) 
  • ​Ask other individuals (including staff) to avoid touching you with handshakes, hugs or kisses. Ask them to wash their hands. Do not be shy! It’s okay to remind people.
  • Watch out for potential scammers​ during this crisis. 
  • 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.​

 

 

Letter: AHCA/NCAL Joins Nation’s Leading Health Care Organizations in HHS Request to Extend the Public Health Emergencyhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Letter-AHCANCAL-Joins-Nation’s-Leading-Health-Care-Organizations-in-HHS-Request-to-Extend-the-Public-Health-Emergency.aspxLetter: AHCA/NCAL Joins Nation’s Leading Health Care Organizations in HHS Request to Extend the Public Health Emergency5/11/2022 4:00:00 AM<div><strong>WASHINGTON D.C. – </strong>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), along with 15 other health care organizations, sent a <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/Letters/220510-GroupLetteronPHEExtension.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">joint letter</a> yesterday to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to request an extension of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration. </div><div> </div><div>The letter emphasizes that now is not the time to let our guard down as health care providers continue to face new COVID-19 variants. The PHE offers key resources and flexibilities that are critical to helping providers quickly adapt to changing dynamics of this ongoing pandemic.</div><div> </div><div><strong>The following is a statement from Clif Porter, senior vice president of government relations for AHCA/NCAL in relation to the joint letter:</strong></div><div> </div><div>“Long term care residents and staff have been uniquely impacted by this pandemic. Even after two years, we continue to battle COVID every day and grapple with historic workforce and economic challenges the pandemic has exacerbated. Our residents are the most vulnerable when it comes to this virus, and therefore, they deserve the greatest support and highest prioritization. We urge the federal government to prioritize long term care residents and staff by extending the PHE so that providers can continue to offer the most efficient and effective care possible.” </div><div> <br></div><div>To read the full letter, click <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/Letters/220510-GroupLetteronPHEExtension.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">HERE​</a>.<br><br></div>AHCA/NCAL, along with 15 other health care organizations, sent a joint letter yesterday to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to request an extension of the Public Health Emergency declaration.
NHSN Deadline for COVID-19 Vaccination Data Approachinghttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/NHSN-Deadline-for-COVID-19-Vaccination-Data-Approaching.aspxNHSN Deadline for COVID-19 Vaccination Data Approaching5/10/2022 4:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">Skilled nursing facilities that participate in the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (QRP) must have the <span style="color:#555555;font-size:14.6667px;background-color:#ffffff;">weekly health care personnel COVID-19 vaccination summary data entered into the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) </span><strong style="color:#555555;font-size:14.6667px;background-color:#ffffff;">by May 16, 2022</strong>​ for the 2021 Quarter 4 (October 1 – December 31, 2021). Facilities are encouraged to review and update their data prior to the deadline. <strong>Data that is not entered until after the deadline will not be sent to CMS and will not be used in the QRP</strong>. Facility data can be reviewed by using the Analysis reports within NHSN. </span></p><div><br></div><div>For questions on how to access or interpret the analysis reports, please email <a href="mailto:nhsn@cdc.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">nhsn@cdc.gov</a> with subject line “Accessing/Interpreting Analysis Reports” to ensure your inquiry is triaged correctly.<br></div>SNFs that participate in the SNF QRP must have the weekly health care personnel COVID-19 vaccination summary data entered into the NHSN by May 16, 2022​ for the 2021 Q4.
USCIS Announces EAD for Certain Renewal Applicantshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/USCIS-Announces-EAD-for-Certain-Renewal-Applicants.aspxUSCIS Announces EAD for Certain Renewal Applicants5/4/2022 4:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">​This week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a <a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMDAsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyMjA1MDMuNTczMjc2MTEiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy5mZWRlcmFscmVnaXN0ZXIuZ292L3B1YmxpYy1pbnNwZWN0aW9uLzIwMjItMDk1MzkvdGVtcG9yYXJ5LWluY3JlYXNlLW9mLXRoZS1hdXRvbWF0aWMtZXh0ZW5zaW9uLXBlcmlvZC1vZi1lbXBsb3ltZW50LWF1dGhvcml6YXRpb24tYW5kLWRvY3VtZW50YXRpb24ifQ.89MifYdYnGgWLzaYsX-qJLnjYZAS1CrTVg8oTKBVdLg/s/2137516336/br/130717247394-l" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Temporary Final Rule</a> (TFR) that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), available to<a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMDEsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyMjA1MDMuNTczMjc2MTEiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy51c2Npcy5nb3YvZWFkYXV0b2V4dGVuZCJ9.2gRB1BU9iSe2Ahm1nIgFHOoDI7Yg7qF9ZsjI3NHoibs/s/2137516336/br/130717247394-l" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank"> certain EAD renewal applicants</a>, to up to 540 days. The increase, which became effective May 4, 2022, will help avoid gaps in employment for noncitizens with pending EAD renewal applications and stabilize the continuity of operations for U.S. employers.   </span><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span></p><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;">The TFR only applies to <a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMDIsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyMjA1MDMuNTczMjc2MTEiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy51c2Npcy5nb3YvZWFkYXV0b2V4dGVuZCJ9.ZfwhO3vOqe-_0jQL7lTc9V9y1nm6eKuTtdW2sQeARqI/s/2137516336/br/130717247394-l" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">those EAD categories currently eligible</a> for an automatic up to 180-day extension It will temporarily provide up to 360 days of additional automatic extension time (for a total of up to 540 days) to eligible applicants with a timely-filed Form I-765 renewal application pending during the 18-month period after publication of the TFR while USCIS continues to work through pending caseloads that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available in the USCIS <a href="https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/uscis-increases-automatic-extension-period-of-work-permits-for-certain-applicants" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">press release</a>.</span><br></div>This week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a Temporary Final Rule that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents to up to 540 days. 
NHSN Revises COVID-19 Module Pathwayshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/NHSN-Revises-COVID-19-Module-Pathways.aspxNHSN Revises COVID-19 Module Pathways4/29/2022 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>In April 2022, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) announced various revisions to the COVID-19 module pathways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be hosting webinars in May to review the updates and revisions. The changes coming to NHSN module pathways include: </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​Removal of Supplies and PPE Pathway – users will no longer need to report to this pathway</li><li>Reductions in Resident Impact and Facility Capacity and Staff and Personnel Impact Pathway, which include: </li><ul><li>​Removal of COVID-19 test type </li><li>Removal of Vaccine Manufacturer (RFIC only) </li><li>Removal of COVID-19 re-infections </li><li>Removal of other respiratory illness </li><li>Removal of testing performed and time for receiving results <br></li></ul><li>​Additions include: </li><ul><li>​Expanded vaccination status options for boosters </li><li>Simplified PPE shortage question <br></li></ul></ul><div><br>AHCA/NCAL will inform members when these webinars become available.<br></div></div>In April 2022, NHSN announced various revisions to the COVID-19 module pathways.

​Guidance & Resources

​By Source


 AHCA/NCAL

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Emotional PPE Project