COVID 19 Recent Updates

Good Afternoon, I hope you enjoyed a respite from the constant pressure of COVID-19, finding time to remember and celebrate Memorial Day.  From my point of view 2020 has been a year where nothing is as it should be.  Important dates and holidays come and pass and the memory of the moment is lost in the strain of COVID-19.  Like you, I look forward to the day COVID-19 is filed in history and all residents in LTCFs and our families are safely able to, again, “connect” where no Internet is required.   

Tuesday, May 26

Administrator in Training (AIT) Clarification

There has been some recent confusion about an executive order that was issued for remote learning during the Governor’s Emergency Order.  The order does allow for specific remote learning to occur for the Health Facilities Administrator course.  840 IAC 1-1-4 has not been amended, and still requires that all applicants for licensure in the State of Indiana meet certain educational requirements, and complete an administrator in training program, prior to being approved to sit for the NAB and the Indiana Jurisprudence licensing exam.

Friday, May 22

HHS announced it has begun distributing $4.9 billion to skilled nursing facilities, which are in addition to previously announced relief funds to nursing facilities.  Each skilled nursing facility (SNF) has or will receive $50,000 plus $2,500 for each comprehensive care bed.  https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/05/22/hhs-announces-nearly-4.9-billion-distribution-to-nursing-facilities-impacted-by-covid19.html

Recipients must attest that they will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes.  You will find the terms and conditions at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/05/22/hhs-announces-nearly-4.9-billion-distribution-to-nursing-facilities-impacted-by-covid19.html

Thursday, May 21 

Recapping Dr. Dan Rusyniak (ISDH) webinar with long-term care providers.  After the meeting, there were a number of questions along with clarifications provided on May 22nd.  Dr. Dan indicated it was not too soon to begin testing all employees.

  1. ISDH will ask that all comprehensive licensed nursing facilities employees be tested for COVID-19 by June 30, 2019.  Clarifications below.

  2. Clarification, while ISDH will be looking at a two-week period, they would not require testing of staff who had a test in the last month.

  3. Facilities can be utilizing the free Optum sites at this time.

  4. Return to work guidelines can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/return-to-work.html

  5. Some expressed concern of a backlog of testing in a 14 day period.  Friday, Dr. Dan suggested that all would not be tested at the same time, so the initial test and repeat test would be staggered.

  6. Other testing sites may and should be utilized:  Local hospitals and private labs.

  7. Does Optum report results to the nursing facilities?  Dr. Dan replied these results are reported to the person tested, the state’s database and positive results will be contacted by Indiana’s contract tracing teams. 

  8. Results from Optum take about 72 hours

  9. Are staff allowed to work when asymptomatic, while wanting for test results.  According to Dr. Dan, yes they can.

  10. ISDH is considering testing all NF employee every two weeks this helps with the false negative on asymptomatic persons.  Facilities may re-test more frequently.

Dr. Dan also reported that those who have not received the FEMA shipment of PPE should have these by the middle of June.

Wednesday, May 20

IMPORTANT UPDATE EMResouces

Currently, there are 3 to 5 different places where LTCF are reporting COVID cases and deaths.

  1. EMResources

  2. RedCap - REQUIRED

  3. NBS/Gateway

  4. NHSN - REQUIRED

  5. Local health department contact tracing forms - REQUIRED

ISDH is working on a strategy, a goal, that will use the data from EMResources to eliminate duplication.  This can only work if everyone accurately completes EMResources and ensures it is updated.  The goal is to eliminate needless duplication.  As of last week fewer than 100 long-term care facilities had completed all information needed to make this happen.

Please review EMResources and take special notice that more fields have been added starting with K. 

Thursday, May 28

UPCOMING Webinar with ISDH/Dr. Dan  -  https://web.telspan.com/go/indianahealthcareassn/may28

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