Courtesy of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
On April 2, CMS and CDC issued a new set of recommendations after learning from on-site surveys that more needs to be done to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Major highlights of this guidance are presented below. Advocates are urged to read the full guidance.
- Nursing homes should ensure they are complying with all CMS and CDC guidance about infection control, with a particular focus on hand hygiene.
- State and local leaders should work together to help address nursing home needs for PPE and tests.
- Facilities should screen every single person entering the facility (with the exception of EMS personnel responding to an emergency).
- Access points should be limited and have screening stations.
- PPE should be used to a greater extent.
- All staff must wear facemasks.
- Staff must wear full PPE:
- To care for a resident with COVID-19.
- To care for all residents when there is COVID-19 transmission in the facility.
- Residents should wear facemasks:
- If and when they leave the room regularly for care (e.g. dialysis).
- If they are COVID-19 positive or assumed to be.
- Residents should cover their noses and mouth (with tissue) in their rooms when staff are present.
- Residents with COVID-19 and those with suspected COVID-19 should be separated from residents who don’t have it or who have unknown status.
- Facilities should use separate staffing teams for COVID-19 residents and exercise consistent assignment for all residents.
- Facilities should work with state/local leaders to designate separate facilities or units within a facility.
- State agencies, hospitals, nursing home associations and other entities should coordinate to determine which nursing homes are designated COVID-19 positive and to provide adequate staff and PPE.
- COVID-19 units/facilities must be capable of strict infection control practices and testing protocols.