COVID-19 Quick Reference Resources

Comprehensive updated resources and videos available from CDC/CMS/IHI, as well as independent PPE and Stress Relief resources

General information & updates:

  • has the latest information about what the U.S. Government is doing in response to COVID-19.
  • has the latest public health and safety information from CDC and for the overarching medical and health provider community on COVID-19.
  • for additional resources available


Resource Emails 

CMS email address FOR COVID or regulatory questions: DNH_TRIAGETeam@CMS.HHS.GOV


Follow Social Media:


CDC Additional Resources and Webinars


Pathway Health Resources

Support to Navigate COVID-19 and Infection Control Regulations 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a “Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes” November 2020. This Includes recent information and guidance on vaccinations to prevent infection with influenza virus, pneumococcus, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

This includes updated information for State Actions for COVID-19 Management and Response.

Pathway Health experts are ready to support your COVID-19 and Infection Control survey readiness and success. Contact us to learn more.

Leadership Strategies for Preparation and Response
Interim Policy for Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus
Optimizing PPE Eye Protection Face Shield
Optimizing PPE Face Mask
N95 Interim Covid-19 Policy
Interim Guidancee Death of Resident and DC to Funeral Home
Nasopharyngealoropharyngeal Swab Collection
Leadership T.H.I.N.K. Ahead Strategy Guide
DON and Doffing of PPE for Covid-19
Pandemic Competency Tool – Basic Nursing Skills – Non-Certified Caregiver
Interim Policy for Daily Wellness Checks al General



Current emergencies

Update 4/26/2023: Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. Learn more by reading Frequently Asked Questions: CMS Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PDF) (PDF Updated 5/5/2023).

Potential Impact of House Joint Resolution 7 (H.J.Res.7): In response to questions related to how the ending of the National Emergency by H.J.Res.7 impacts the Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, we wanted to share the following question and answer broadly:

What happens if a national emergency ends before the PHE ends?

To be clear, the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 declared under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, is not the same as the COVID-19 National Emergency declared by the Trump Administration in 2020 and implicated by H.J.Res.7. Therefore, an end to the COVID-19 National Emergency does not impact current operations at HHS, and does not impact the planned May 11 expiration of the federal PHE for COVID-19 or any associated unwinding plans. Even if the COVID-19 National Emergency were to end, any existing waivers currently in effect and authorized under the 1135 waiver authorization for the pandemic, would remain in place until the end of the federal PHE for COVID-19.

Current emergencies more…

Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. Learn more by reading What Do I Need to Know? CMS Waivers, Flexibilities and the Transition Forward from the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Update regarding intent to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations and extensions by way of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 Update: On Thursday, December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law H.R. 2716, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.

This legislation provides more than $1.7 trillion to fund various aspects of the federal government, including an extension of the major telehealth waivers and the Acute Hospital Care at Home (AHCaH) individual waiver that were initiated during the federal public health emergency (PHE). Additionally, on January 30, 2023, the Biden Administration announced its intent to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations on May 11, 2023, related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMS is committed to updating supporting resources and providing updates as soon as possible. Please continue to use the provider-specific fact sheets for information about COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) waivers and flexibilities:

Litigation Update for CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule:

UPDATE #4: As of January 19, 2022, there are no preliminary injunctions prohibiting implementation and enforcement of Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination, 86 Fed. Reg. 61,555, 61,556 (Nov. 5, 2021).  Please refer to CMS guidance for enforcement guidelines and timelines.

UPDATE #3: Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. Biden on January 13, 2022, implementation and enforcement of Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination, 86 Fed. Reg. 61,555, 61,556 (Nov. 5, 2021) (the “Interim Final Rule” or “IFC”), remains preliminarily enjoined only in Texas.  Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers in Texas are not yet required to comply with the Interim Final Rule, and surveyors will not investigate compliance with the rule in facilities located in Texas, pending future developments in the litigation.  Please refer to the Interim Final Rule and CMS guidance for further detail about implementation and enforcement timelines outside of Texas, as well as what is required at each phase of implementation.

UPDATE #2: As of December 15, 2021, following decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, implementation and enforcement of Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination, 86 Fed. Reg. 61,555, 61,556 (Nov. 5, 2021) (the “Interim Final Rule”), is preliminarily enjoined in the following twenty-five states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers in those states are not required to comply with the Interim Final Rule, and surveyors will not investigate compliance with the rule in facilities located in those states, pending future developments in the litigation.  In the other 25 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories, as an exercise of enforcement discretion, the rule will be implemented and enforced on the following modified timeline: the deadline for Phase 1 implementation is January 27, 2022, and the deadline for Phase 2 implementation is February 28, 2022.  Please refer to the Interim Final Rule and CMS guidance for further detail about what is required at each phase of implementation. Please note that the public comment period for the Interim Final Rule will close on January 4, 2022, as originally scheduled.

UPDATE #1: On November 29, 2021, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation and enforcement in ten states of Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination, 86 Fed. Reg. 61,555, 61,556 (Nov. 5, 2021).  On November 30, 2021, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the implementation and enforcement of the same rule, with the exception of the ten states covered under the first preliminary injunction.  CMS has appealed both of these decisions, and has filed motions for stays of these orders.  While CMS remains confident in its authority to protect the health and safety of patients in facilities funded by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, it has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of this rule pending future developments in the litigation.  Please note that the comment period is separate from the litigation.

Find information and updates about current non-COVID natural disasters, man-made incidents (including cyber-attacks), and public health emergencies. Or, find more information about ongoing or past emergencies.


Coronavirus Disease 2019

When a national emergency was declared on March 13, 2020, we took action nationwide to aggressively respond to COVID-19.

The Public Health Service Act was used to declare a public health emergency (PHE) in the entire United States on January 31, 2020 giving us the flexibility to support our beneficiaries, effective January 27, 2020.  The PHE was renewed on April 21, 2020July 23, 2020October 2, 2020January 7, 2021,  April 15, 2021July 19, 2021,  October 15, 2021January 7, 2022April 12, 2022 effective April 16, 2022, July 15, 2022October 13, 2022 and January 11, 2023.

Read our Pandemic Plan (PDF).

Complimentary COVID-19 Resources available for download

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Briggs Healthcare is making 2 valuable resources available to LTC and AL providers at no charge

No Visitor Sign
to be used at entry points to notify the public that visitors are not allowed



COVID-19 Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes
Other LTC/Senior Living Settings


CDC has released a “Frontline Staff Toolkit for Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities.” This new resource highlights the importance of infection prevention and control practices in outpatient dialysis facilities to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  Staff who are having frequent patient interactions and providing direct care in outpatient hemodialysis facilities are encouraged to watch and learn more about everyday infection prevention practices, as well as some additional practices that are essential during COVID-19. These brief educational videos can be viewed as a set or in segments as time allows:

Tips for Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities during COVID-19:

Video #1 – Infection Prevention Basics: Hand Hygiene & Environmental Disinfection
Video #2 – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Video #3 – Screening & Patient Placement

This toolkit is intended to be used along with other COVID-19 dialysis specific resources and ongoing activities within your clinic. A list of CDC key documents and practical tools is below for your reference.

  1. Interim Additional Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 in Outpatient Dialysis
  2. COVID-19 Outpatient Dialysis Facility Preparedness Assessment Tool
  3. Factsheet for Patients – Keeping Patients on Dialysis Safe
  4. Factsheet for Facilities – How our facility is keeping patients safe from COVID-19
  5. Presentation for Facilities- Preparing Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities for COVID-19
  6. COVID-19 Outpatient Dialysis Cleaning and Disinfection Webpage
  7. Considerations for Patients on Home Dialysis Webpage
  8. Screening Dialysis Patients for COVID-19 Webpage
  9. Dialysis in Acute Care Webpage

Thank you for your work and the lifesaving care you provide to patients on dialysis. Please feel free to share these resources widely within the dialysis community.

CDC Releases New Long-Term Care Vaccine Toolkit
Earlier today, the CDC released a new vaccine toolkit for long-term care providers. This toolkit offers administrators and clinical leadership additional information and resources to help build confidence in the vaccine among staff and residents.

CDC in corroboration with NADONA and AMDA COVID-19 Tool Kit

CDC’s NHSN provides healthcare facilities, such as long term care facilities (LTCF) with a customized system to track infections and prevention process measures in a systematic way.

LTCF COVID-19 Module

COVID-19 Module for LTCFs consists of four pathways

Tracking this information allows facilities to identify problems, improve care, and determine progress toward facility and national healthcare-associated infection goals.

The NHSN Long-term Care Facility Component is supporting the nation’s COVID-19 response by introducing a new COVID-19 Module for Long Term Care Facilities. Facilities eligible to report into the COVID-19 Module include nursing homes/skilled nursing, long-term care for the developmentally disabled, and assisted living facilities.

COVID-19 Module Overview for LTCFs – May 2020
YouTube Link [Video – 84 min]
Slideset pdf icon[PDF – 7 MB]

COVID-19 Module Enrollment Guidance for LTCFs – May 2020
Slideset pdf icon[PDF – 4 MB]

Changes to Nursing Programs’ Clinical Requirements in Response to COVID-19


Published October 11, 2021 · 2 Min Read

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people live, forcing everyone to adjust to a “new normal” of social distancing and staying at home as much as possible. The virus has also disrupted numerous industries, including education and healthcare.

As a result, many colleges and universities have transitioned to online learning. Although students and faculty in various disciplines have struggled to adjust to the new conditions, these changes present an especially large challenge for nursing and medical students. Aspiring nurses must complete their clinicals by working directly with patients at healthcare facilities. However, students can no longer complete this crucial part of their education as they have traditionally done.

“This is a real issue right now,” says Jennifer Olszewski, EdD, MSN, CRNP-BC, and clinical assistant professor and chair of the Accelerated Nursing program at Drexel University. “The possibility of delayed graduation if our clinical affiliates cannot accommodate student nurses is an issue we are planning for at this time.”

CMS will retire the original Compare Tools on December 1st

Use’s Care Compare to find and compare health care providers.

In early September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Care Compare on, which streamlines our eight original health care compare tools. Since then, you’ve had the opportunity to use and familiarize yourself with Care Compare while having the option to use the original compare tools, too. You’ve also been able to share feedback from a survey directly on Care Compare and we’ve received lots of great feedback so far.
The eight original compare tools – like Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare, Physician Compare – will be retired on December 1st, ending this transition period. If you haven’t been using Care Compare, we urge you to:

  • Use Care Compare on and encourage people with Medicare and their caregivers to start using it, too. Go to and choose “Find care”.
  • Update any links to the eight original care tools on your public-facing websites so they’ll direct your audiences to Care Compare.

Care Compare offers a new design that makes it easier to find the same information that’s on the original compare tools. It gives you, patients, and caregivers one user-friendly place to find cost, quality of care, service volume, and other CMS quality data to help make informed health care decisions.

Now, instead of having to search through many compare tools, with just one click on Care Compare, you’ll find easy-to-understand information about nursing homes, hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers.

Please remember that when we retire the 8 original compare tools, you will still be able to find information about health care providers and CMS quality data on Care Compare, as well as download CMS publicly reported data from the Provider Data Catalog on Fully transitioning to these tools does not change how CMS measures quality.

In addition, we’ll continue to make improvements to Care Compare and the Provider Data Catalog based on stakeholder and consumer feedback now and in the future.   Direct links to the tools & additional resources

Full Press Release:


Coronavirus Disease Waiver

When a national emergency was declared on March 13, 2020, we took action nationwide to aggressively respond to COVID-19.

The Public Health Service Act was used to declare a public health emergency (PHE) in the entire United States on January 31, 2020 giving us the flexibility to support our beneficiaries, effective January 27, 2020.  The PHE was renewed on April 21, 2020July 23, 2020October 2, 2020January 7, 2021,  April 15, 2021July 19, 2021,  October 15, 2021January 7, 2022April 12, 2022 effective April 16, 2022, and July 15, 2022.

Read our Pandemic Plan (PDF).

Get waiver & flexibility information, apply for an 1135 waiver, or find COVID-19 vaccine policies & guidance

Read our Coronavirus disease 2019 press releases

Dear Clinician:


Thank you for your continued dedication and tireless efforts to combat the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) within your communities, and for ensuring that patients remain safe and cared for during this unprecedented time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging the many clinicians, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and others, who participate in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) to contribute to scientific research and evidence through clinical trials to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinicians who participate in a clinical trial and report their findings to a clinical data repository or registry may now earn credit in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2020 Performance Period by attesting to the new COVID-19 Clinical Trials improvement activity……


State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit

Policy Considerations for States Expanding Use of Telehealth

COVID-19 Version

This document is a compilation of actions employed by organizations, including state governments, in the United States and outlying territories to assist nursing homes in meeting the needs of nursing home residents since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic recognized in early 2020.

The actions were collected by the contractors of the QIO Program, a statutorily mandated program of quality improvement contractors who work for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the care of Medicare beneficiaries, including beneficiaries who reside in nursing homes. By law, a QIO works in every state and territory.

This information was collected by the QIOs in late April 2020, and compiled by CMS and its contractors to provide a rapid-access compendium for providers and administrators of nursing homes in the United States to learn from the many creative plans that state governments and other entities have put into operation in a short period of time.

This compendium is not intended as guidance from CMS. It does not replace or serve as a substitute for CMS requirements and policy. The actions outlined in this document have not been evaluated for effectiveness by CMS or any government agency. This compendium is solely an informational product offered by CMS to nursing homes as well as state and local officials during the National Public Health Emergency.

CMS will update this document on an on-going basis to ensure all new and innovative approaches are reflected in order to provide states with strategies to continue addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency. States may submit updates to Media inquiries should continue to go to the CMS Press Office.

COVID-19: Using the CR Modifier and DR Condition Code

CMS revised MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to clarify when you must use modifier CR (catastrophe/disaster related) and/or condition code DR (disaster related) when submitting claims to Medicare. The update includes a chart of blanket waivers and flexibilities that require the modifier or condition code.

MultiState’s industry leaders have decades of high-level government affairs experience. Our growing team has diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise: government relations veterans, economists, compliance professionals, and issue experts, plus a technology team of cutting-edge software engineers, diligent project managers, and administrative support specialists that bring it all together.

CDC Antigen Testing Algorithm

Keeping Us Connected During the Pandemic:  How Broadband and Cable Companies Have Given Back to Communities in Need LTC Infection Control Factsheet Final 2021-08-11 LTC MAb update Slide Show v2 share NH partner summary_2108 final 2

Social Media Graphic


Biden says US will require nursing homes get staff vaccinated or lose federal funds

Help Advisor: A Complete Medicare Eligibility and Enrollment GuideVirginia Department of Health Patient Education Vaccine Rollout

CGNO COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet

CDC LTC May 2021 Trainings

SNF Staff hesitancy to COVID-19 Vaccine

TB Tests and mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines


We are pleased to inform you CDC has updated its infection prevention and control recommendations for fully vaccinated people in healthcare settings.

These recommendations include recommendations for safe visitation in long-term care facilities as well as updated guidance on work restrictions and quarantine for fully vaccinated healthcare providers, inpatients, and residents in healthcare settings. Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC

For long-term care facilities, these recommendations are consistent with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidance about indoor visitation in long-term care, nursing, rehabilitation, and other post-acute care facilities. Nursing Home Visitation – COVID-19 (REVISED) | CMS


Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus Vaccine?


What You Need to Know About Medicare Part C


Visit for additional resources available

Curious About COVID-19 Vaccines and What They Do?

The COVID-19 Prevention Network has an excellent infographic for you.  Click here to see it. 

STAY UP TO DATE WITH YOUR COVID-19 Vaccines & Boosters

Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.


image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit: Resources for Healthcare Decision-Makers Responding to COVID-19 Workforce Concerns

PLEASE NOTE: This collection of resources was created in 2020; it has not been maintained and guidance may be outdated.

This collection provides a curated set of resources and tools for decision-makers managing healthcare workforce challenges in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Please refer to CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage for the most up-to-date clinical guidance on COVID-19 outbreak management.

If you are a decision-maker and have COVID-19 promising practices, plans, tools, or templates to share with your peers, please visit the ASPR TRACIE Information Exchange COVID-19 Information Sharing Page (registration required) and place your resources under the relevant topic area. Resources specific to healthcare workforce decision-making can be placed under the COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit Topic.


For all health care providers

For Health Care Facilities

COVID-19 Offers for Nurses, Doctors and First Responders

Medical professionals working on the front lines should not have to worry about housing, transportation and other essentials. This site will give nurses, doctors and other frontline workers one place to view the freebies, deals and offers available to them.

Please help by helping us keep this page up to date.

You can submit deals and offers here.

If you have any questions, email us at

COVID-19 Rapid Response for Nursing Homes


Read More ​​​​

Tackling High-Priority COVID-19 Challenges for Nursing Homes

​​​​The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, is launching the COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing Homes to support nursing home leadership, staff, residents, families, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Huddles Provide Pragmatic Solutions and Support

The Rapid Response Network features a twice-weekly 20-minute National Nursing Home Huddle on Tuesday and Thursday to provide real-time, pragmatic solutions that can be implemented in nursing homes today to solve many of the key problems brought about or exacerbated by COVID-19.

Call topics will reflect the most pressing issues identified by those providing care for nursing home residents, including access to personal protective equipment (PPE), lack of testing, hospital to nursing home transfers, staff illness and absence, and staff attrition.

This call series concluded on October 29, 2020.

COVID-19 Rapid Response for Nursing Homes

Free Call Series Every Weekday, 12:00 noon ET
Began May 4, 2020
Register once to gain access to the entire call series.



Please note:

  • Register at least one hour before the start of the next scheduled call to ensure you receive connection information.
  • Please log in to before registering on our new system. If you have technical difficulties, use Google Chrome for the best experience or try clearing your browser cache to access registration

New Test Questions to be Added:


Does the LTCF have an in-house point-of-care test machine (capability to perform COVID-19 testing within your facility)? ?? YES       ?? NO


**Since the last date of data entry in the Module, how many COVID-19 point-of-care tests has the LTCF performed on residents?  ________________


**Since the last date of data entry in the Module, how many COVID-19 point-of-care tests has the LTCF performed on staff and/or facility personnel?


**Based on this week’s inventory, do you have enough supplies to test all staff and/or facility personnel for COVID-19 using the point-of-care test machine?   ?? YES       ?? NO


Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to Be Introduced in House

The bill is modeled on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


As of press time, it is expected that Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) will introduce legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would create a federal backstop to prevent economic losses from future pandemics. The bill, known as the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA), is modeled on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Like TRIA, the proposed PRIA would be a public-private partnership where the federal government would serve as a reinsurance backstop in an attempt to maintain marketplace stability and share the burden alongside the insurance industry for future pandemic-related losses.


Quick Reference Guide: COVID-19 Regulatory Requirement Changes with PHE Expiration

According to CMS guidance for the expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), certain LTC regulatory requirements implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic will change with the expiration of the PHE on May 11, 2023. 


New: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Preservation Planning Toolkit

This toolkit was developed by the COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group and includes links to a guide and an Excel spreadsheet that can help users understand types of PPE preservation strategies and calculate how using those strategies can increase the duration of a specified PPE supply.


CDC laboratory reporting website:

“Ask on entry” questions:

HHS laboratory reporting guidance:

HHS press release on June 4th:



Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control Spread of SARS-CoV-2 

SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. CDC recommends community use of masks, specifically non-valved multi-layer cloth masks, to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Masks are primarily intended as “source control” to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets. This is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals who feel well and may be unaware they are infectious. These cases are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions. Masks also help provide personal protection for the wearer by reducing the likelihood of inhaling infectious droplets. The community benefit of masking for SARS-CoV-2 control is due to the combination of these effects. As the number of people using masks consistently and correctly increases, so does the individual prevention benefit.

CDC has published a summary of this science and will update it as additional science becomes available. Read the full brief:  “Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2”

Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The prevention benefit of masking is derived from the combination of source control and personal protection for the mask wearer.

CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) added a Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway within the NHSN Long-Term Care COVID-19 Module. This added capability enables CMS-certified long-term care facilities to meet the Department of Health and Human Services’ requirement to report SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care antigen test data, and other on-site COVID-19 laboratory testing data.

The new NHSN pathway creates a single, standardized reporting system:

o  that all ~15,400 nursing homes already use for other mandatory COVID-19 reporting;

o  has the capability to share data with state and local health departments;

o  has the ability to share data with HHS and CMS; and

o  avoids the creation of a patchwork ofdifferent jurisdictional reporting systems by state health departments.

In order to utilize the new pathway to fulfill reporting requirements, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that are NHSN users will need to upgrade their NHSN Secure Access Management Service (SAMS) from Level 1 to Level 3.  CDC is working closely with facilities to assist them in this process. An email invitation from CDC to perform this upgrade will be sent to users. Alternatively, facilities can email with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access to use this Pathway.

Additionally, CDC published a new webpage on COVID-19 point-of-care (POC) testing. Visit the new page for detailed information:

  • Overview of POC testing
  • How to obtain a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate
  • How to safely perform POC specimen collection, handling, and testing for COVID-19
  • How to comply with result reporting requirements

More information on SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests can be found here:

AMA-ANA WellBeing-Resilience slides

Precautions to Take When Admitting Visitors During the COVID-19 Pandemic



carerThe COVID-19 pandemic has required that senior living facilities implement social distancing to protect their residents and staff. This social distancing has, at least for the time being, largely put an end to family visits, with families and residents keeping in touch by phone or video conference.

But in compassionate care situations, facilities may want to allow families to visit with their loved ones. With proper precautions, facilities can achieve these visits while still keeping staff, residents, and families safe.

Establish a Policy to Admit Families

Facilities should develop a policy regarding when families will be admitted, and they should ideally do this before compassionate care situations arise. Nikita B. Williams, BSN-RN, a registered nurse, long-term care specialist, and clinical healthcare consultant, notes that there’s no one-size-fits all policy solution for facilities, and that each facility will need to develop a policy that reflects its dynamics, culture, and the individual situation.

“It is my recommendation that visitations are allowed for immediate family members only,” explains Williams. “Visitations should be limited to no more than one hour, and the number of visitors should be no greater than two at a time.”

It’s advisable to develop a policy that outlines factors like:

  • Which situations warrant visitation rights
  • Which individuals will be allowed to visit
  • The permitted frequency of visits
  • The process of granting visitation rights

When these details are outlined in writing, a facility can both grant visitation faster and ensure appropriate decision-making as compassionate care situations arise.

Educate Families Before the Visit

Education and preparation play an important part in keeping everyone safe and ensuring that visits go smoothly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for long-term care facilities and nursing homes, facilities should educate families about COVID-19 prevention, outlining the measures the facility is taking to protect residents and how families will need to follow those same preventative measures during visits.



Pioneer Network Contributes To New Recommendations for Family Presence During a Pandemic

Person-Centered Guidelines for Preserving Family Presence in Challenging Times – May 28, 2020Updated 5.29.20 The following guidelines for preserving family presence were co-developed by an international, multi-stakeholder “pop-up” coalition including patient, resident, family and elder advocates, experts in quality, safety and infection control, clinicians, policymakers, and healthcare executives from a variety of care settings.

These recommendations for family presence across the continuum of care reflect the lived experiences of many who have been, in the moment, wrestling with and addressing the critical nature of this issue.

The guidelines aim to

1) balance socio-emotional needs with clinical safety needs;

2) balance the needs of individuals with the needs of the community; and

3) support person-centered care principles now and in the future.

The focus was to produce an evidence-based, person-centered set of recommendations that will minimize the variation of family presence policies and practice within communities and regions during challenging circumstances. Though the impetus for publishing these guidelines was the COVID-19 outbreak, they have widespread applicability beyond a pandemic.


These are the questions surveyors are asking when they go to a facility for an Infection survey.

These come directly from the CMS directive for surveyors.

The surveyor did not deviate from these questions. Please make sure you share with your staff and that they know the answers.

1.  When do you perform hand hygiene?
2.  If ABHR is not available, who do you contact?
3.  Are residents helped with hand hygiene before meals and after toileting?
4.  When do you use PPE?
5.  Is PPE adequately available and provided?
6.  Any current transmission-based precautions?
7.  Describe standard, contact and droplet precautions.
8.  If res b/c COVID +, what is procedure?
9.  Any COVID at this time?
10.  What is procedure for monitoring for COVID?
11.  Who watches where diseases occur in the facility?
12.  What is screening for entering the facility?
13.  Can visitors enter the facility?
14.  Have you been educated on COVID?
15.  If staff develop s/sx when at work, what is procedure?
16.  When can employee return to work?
17.  Does facility have p/p to ensure adequate staffing?

Supporting Healthcare Workers and First Responders During COVID-19

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Resources for Healthcare Leadership

Healthcare workers and first responders experience unique challenges during episodes of disease outbreak and pandemic. Long shifts, infrequent breaks, societal pressure, new policies and procedures, decreased socialization, and fear of becoming ill, can all have an impact on one’s ability to cope. These challenges can increase stress and anxiety if employees and leaders are not mindful of their mental health and well-being.

Sustaining the Well-being of Healthcare Personnel During Coronavirus and Other Infectious Disease Outbreaks


Rural Health Information Hub

Key and essential resources, tools, and training to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in your community

The Federal Healthcare Resilience Working Group would like to make you aware of a newly released Rapid Expert Consultation on Staffing Considerations for Crisis Standards of Care from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats (NASEM).

The rapid expert consultation is attached and can be found here. The press release can be found online here. We would love for you to share this important new resource with your networks and stakeholders, and our hope is that you will find it useful for your COVID-19 response effort.

Additionally, the NASEM will be holding three webinars on July 31, August 4, and August 5 to brief stakeholders on the consultation document and to provide an opportunity for Q&A. Further information on the webinars is below.

Supporting Staff in Long-Term Care as They Grieve the Deaths of Their Residents from COVID-19

By Mary Kaplan, M.S.W., LCSW

Although death, dying, and grief are day-to-day experiences in the working lives of long-term care staff, the recent surge in the numbers of residents in these settings dying from COVID-19 has led to a cumulative burden of ongoing grief. The emotional impact of each loss for these caregivers is compounded by their own risk for contracting and spreading the virus and the lack of organizational attention to their emotional needs.

Approximately 40 percent of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, a statistic that represents over 40,000 residents. Known to be particularly lethal to older adults with underlying health conditions, the virus spreads easily through congregate facilities, where many people live and are cared for in a confined area.

Staff who provide direct care and assistance to residents and their families are often overlooked when it comes to recognizing and addressing their own grief and bereavement experiences. In my role as a consultant and educator in long-term care settings, I provided in-service sessions to address some of the emotional challenges of staff caregiving responsibilities.

Telehealth and Online Mental Health Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic


What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is one of many viruses that cause respiratory illnesses in people, including some forms of the common cold. Although it has similar symptoms to some strains of influenza, COVID-19 is caused by a different type of virus.

COVID stands for coronavirus disease. This novel coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. In four months it had become a pandemic, a worldwide epidemic.

As of Jan. 21, 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide were only 200 with four deaths. Only one US infection was known. By March 29, 2021, almost 128 million COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide, of which almost 2.8 million had died. In the United States, almost 31 million cases were reported by that date with more than 562,000 deaths.

The rate per one million population worldwide was 16,409 cases and 359 deaths. In the US, the rate was 93,155 cases and 1,692, higher than Canada (25,414 and 602) and Mexico (17,136 and 1,552).

With COVID-19 vaccines now coming on the market—by March 26, 2021, three were approved for emergency use in the US, with seven more in Phase 3 clinical trials—the rates are expected to decline, but some precautions may have to remain in place through much of 2021.



U.S. Department of Labor Issues Alert to Keep Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Workers Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic 

United States Department of Labor sent this bulletin at 05/14/2020 01:02 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect nursing home and long-term care facility workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

Safety measures employers can implement to protect workers in the nursing home and long-term care industry include:


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