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March 30, 2020 FSSA's Chief Medical Officer Urges Action

Updated: May 1, 2020

During today’s briefing with ISDH, Dan Rusyniak, Chief Medical Officer at FSSA re-emphasized of the importance that all LTC provider to do the following:

  • Complete the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes and other Long-Term Care Settings HERE

  • All LTC facilities should use this sheet to track their infection control activities and to track employees and patients with respiratory illness.

  • All LTC facilities should have a plan to rapidly implement, or implement now, how they will cohort confirmed or presumed covid-19 patients in their facility. This can be by wing, floor, or if available, by building(s). This should be done with expediency. See this from CMS QSO.

  • Limit patient contact to only essential direct care providers (Nurse, CNA, QMA, Hospice, EMS etc.), Notice

  • All LTC facilities should require those involved in direct patient care to wear a mask during their entire shift. Mitigation Strategie

  • If national and local supplies are at conventional capacity, then all staff in LTC facilities should wear a facemask per standard recommendations.

  • If national and local supplies are at contingency levels, only direct care staff should wear a mask and they should use one mask per shift. 

  • If national and local supplies are scarce <1 week supply, then only direct care staff should wear a mask and they should use the same mask for multiple days

  • If national and local supplies are at crisis capacity, then direct patient care staff should wear a mask if available. If masks are not available, they should use alternative methods to cover their mouth and nose anddecrease respiratory droplet spread

  • Invite ISDH’s “Strike Team” to come to your building and check your readiness for COVID-19. The Strike Team is not a regulatory “got-you” visit. It is intended to be a check-up for readiness and to offer suggestions

  • All LTC facilities need to have updated lists of all residents’ code status. Plans should be in place for how to provide hospice and comfort care to those patients with DNR orders who develop COVID-19.

  • If you would like to discuss the need for testing at your facility or COVID-19 prevention such as PPE donning and doffing, please contact Casey Cummins, COVID-19 Outbreak Response Chief Nurse Consultant, at 317.954.2591 or

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