CDC: Guidance on PPE
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Emergency Declaration 2020-002
U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
The nation’s portal for COVID-19 information for health care professionals and the general public.
Johns Hopkins CSSE: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Cleaning: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
U.S. Centers for Disease Control: Print Resources
FSLA Infection Control Regulatory Overview (Members Only)
Last month, members received the FSLA Infection Control Regulatory Overview in the Assisted Living Administrative Rule Review (2/6). The Overview summarizes infection control actions for which Assisted Living Communities are responsible. If you missed your copy, contact staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with Infection Control Overview in the Subject.
Argentum: Sample Messaging for Media, Staff and Family (members only)
American Health Care Association: Sample Letter for Resident and Families
Q&A Information on COVID-19
PLEASE NOTE: Some of the information that we have previously published has either changed or been updated based on your questions and concerns, for example allowing home healthcare providers into your buildings and admitting new residents. We are in constant contact with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Department of Health, (DOH) and the Emergency Management Office (EOC) and as information changes, we will provide you with the most up-to-date guidelines and restrictions.
3/17/2020: AHCA addressed the following questions yesterday on a conference call.
Q: Will ALFs and NHs be cited for failing to meet staffing ratios during the COVID-19 outbreak?
A: AHCA will not penalize a facility for not meeting staffing requirements [in rule, statute]; however, facilities must have sufficient staff to take care of their residents. That includes providing the same level of care that you are providing now.
Q: Physical Plant/Operation workers were not mentioned in the Executive Order’s list of persons exempted from the visitor ban. Can they be admitted to perform maintenance or repairs to essential equipment?
A: Admit repairmen as needed to keep operations running. However, apply the screening standards and personal protective equipment (PPE) as indicated and limit exposure and close contact to residents and staff. This should be handled on a case by case basis. Look for alternative ways to meet the need, an d document all actions taken.
Q: If a family member is the one providing health care, can they be admitted?
A: If you have a care plan and are charging the family for care, then the community is the primary caregiver.
Q: Does a staff member returning from a domestic flight trip have to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to work?
A: According to the Governor’s Emergency Order, anyone who traveled through any airport within the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter a community.
Q: Should a nursing home or ALF be expected to admit a patient from a hospital?
A: Hospitals should be testing for COVID-19 before they transfer a patient to a nursing home or ALF. The Florida Health Care Association and the Florida Hospital Association developed a Voluntary Transfer Form that was designed to be used for hospital-nursing home transfers; It should be suitable for hospital-ALF transfers as well.
COVID-Positive Cases in a NH or ALF
Q: What actions should a NH or ALF take if a resident tests positive for COVID-19, recognizing that the capabilities are significantly different?
A: Isolate in place to the extent possible (using the COVID-19 infection control guidelines). If PPE is inadequate to prevent contagion, work to transfer to a hospital or to another facility that is better equipped.
If one or more of your residents are being tested as a person under investigation, call your local County Health Department and contact AHCA. Both should be aware so they can immediately reach out to the facility.
AHCA representatives continue to work closely with other local and state agencies to monitor any persons under investigation in a nursing home or ALF.
An AHCA visit will not be regulatory in nature but to make sure adequate PPEs and supplies are in place and being utilized.
Personal Protective Equipment and Supplies
Q: If a nursing home or ALF is running out of PPE and their regular supplier/vendor has indicated that they can’t make deliveries as needed, what should the provider do?
Contact your County Health Department (which will likely be activated into the local emergency management office). FSLA Note: Please fill out the Requisition Form. Providers may be charged for the supplies later.
Q: We’re a small community and get our supplies from WalMart; they have suspended deliveries of food. Is there anything we can do besides sending staff to the store to get needed provisions?
A: Contact your County Health Department; they may be able to help with a pathway.
Q: Is the Agency conducting recertification surveys?
A: At this time, AHCA is only conducting surveys for 1.) recent infection control deficiencies; 2.) complaints that could be Immediate Jeopardy; and 3.) complaints that are related to abuse or neglect.
Q: Are residents to be screened for COVID-19 every day?
Q: Is there a form for screening staff for a respiratory illness?
A: A form for staff screening is not specified by the Emergency Order; there are some authoritative resources that can be used on the DOH site.
Resident Care and Services
Q: Is it okay to restrict residents to their rooms?
A: For now, the provider and/or the County Health Department/Emergency Management Office will decide on this policy, and it will likely be a case by case basis depending on resident population and contagion risk.
Q: We have two symptomatic residents; do we need to isolate them?
A: Call the doctor and tell them the resident(s) is symptomatic and the doctor will order the tests as needed and give you further instructions about getting a test. If you have to transport the resident for testing alert the transportation provider that they are transporting a resident that is being tested. Hospitals are doing most of the testing right now.
Q: Is communal dining okay especially if distance is maintained?
A: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides regulatory mandates to skilled nursing facilities and survey requirements to the state survey agency directors.
CMS’s latest Guidance (QSO-20-14 NH Revised 3/13/20) indicated nursing homes should cancel communal dining. However, this document is NH guidance, and AHCA will consider whether to restrict communal dining in ALFs.
Q: Rehabilitative services are provided in a small group setting. Is this all right to continue?
A: AHCA will obtain further clarification and are focused on supportive measures.
Q: Activities such as games are provided in a small group setting. Are these all right to provide for residents?
A: The 3/13/20 CMS Memo is guidance and the facility may need to make an executive decision based on the guidelines. Educate residents on the facility’s process.
FSLA will provide updates from our industry partners and vendors; however, this information is accurate as of the time of its posting. This situation is very fluid, and we recommend reaching out to vendors directly for up-to-date information.
FSLA does not endorse or guarantee any product or service listed here; this is meant to be informational only.
March 17, 2020 – ASAP Lab Corp
ASAP Labs is a PCR Molecular Lab that is local to Florida and currently has the COVID-19 and Respiratory NexGen Testing.
– Testing Registration Form
– Lab Respiratory NGS Requisition Form
– New Lab Account Form
March 17, 2020 – Care Purchasing Services
CPS is committed to our clients and their supply needs. We will provide updates during the COVID-19 outbreak as they are received from our distribution partners who provide supplies identified to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and as provided with the items listed below. Inventories have and will continue to be fluid. Our distributor partners are providing CPS regular updates as they relate to inventory changes (PPE/cleaning/disinfectants) and other supplies impacted as a result of the manufacturing shutdowns in China. Read more.