Summary of April 2 Guidance from CMS and CDC

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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.