COVID-19 Quick Reference Resources

Scroll down entire page for daily, comprehensive updated resources and videos available from CDC/CMS/IHI, as well as independent PPE and Stress Relief resources



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


Summary Document for Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized or Approved in the United States


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



Current emergencies

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, 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

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.

Read our Coronavirus disease 2019 press releases

Telehealth guidance:

Clinical & technical guidance:

For all clinicians

For all health care providers 

For health care facilities  

For labs  

For Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Organizations

For Schools

For Employers

Billing & coding guidance:

Survey & certification guidance:

Coverage guidance:

Provider enrollment guidance:

Medicaid & CHIP guidance:  

Marketplace plan guidance:

Medicare Advantage and Part D plan guidance:

Open Payments guidance:

Partner & stakeholder resources:

Find more information on ongoing or past emergencies.

Consumer information:

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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

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
Care Compare on –
Provider Data Catalog on –
Care Compare resources for consumers and partners – Medicare blog, Promotional video, Conference card
Full Press Release:

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

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. 


Targeted COVID-19 Training for Nursing Homes Instruction


Tips for Fulfilling CMS’ New Reporting and Testing Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities




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.


Program Overview- Pharmacy Partnership for LTC

Partner Packet for SNFs- Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program

Partner Packet for ALFs- Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program

FAQ – Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program_Revised_10232020


Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Tests Policy and Procedure

Abbott BinaxNOW External Quality Control Log 09.21.2020

Abbott BinaxNOW Testing Competency 09.21.2020

Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Internal Controls and Testing Log 09.21.2020

Donning Duffing Respirator Mask Checklist


COVID-19 Visitor Packet – Skilled Nursing_09-21-2020


COVID-19 Visitation Policy and Procedure_draft


COVID-19 State Testing Directory


New COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements 09/8/2020


CDC laboratory reporting website:


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


Considerations for Interpreting Antigen Test Results in Nursing Homes

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.


How to Properly Wash Your Hands


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. Register Now ​​​​
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

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

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

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

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

Guidelines on Preserving Family Presence During Challenging Times 5.28.20


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?


COVID-19 State and Local Policy Dashboard

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to Be Introduced in House

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


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]


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.


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.

Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Previmage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)alence in Nursing Homes

CMS letter to Clinicians participating in MIPS (PDF) (4/28/20)CMS Provider Toolkit with call schedules/dial-in, and important announcements, updated weekly. This link does not change. 

Mental Health Resources:  Supporting Healthcare Workers and First Responders During COVID-19

Medicaid Chip Telehealth Toolkit

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

IHI’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing Homes  This group is funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation and includes top experts from around the country. They have daily 20 minute huddles at noon ET that are open to all nursing homes and stakeholders.

The Difference Between Alternative Masks and Surgical Masks for COVID-19

Trump Administration Launches New Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges

Briggs Healthcare Complimentary COVID-19 Resources available for download

COVID Testing Vendor Resources


CDC Additional Resources and Webinars

CMS Top Resources




HealthcareSource COVID-19 Resource Hub (45 videos available)


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


Telehealth and Online Mental Health Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic




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