Nursing home deaths rose by 32% in 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, June 22 2021 Emergency medical workers load a patient into an ambulance in Brooklyn, N.Y., in April 2020.(John Minchillo / Associated Press) WASHINGTON —  Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims.

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ADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATION SECTION: CHANGE IN DISTRIBUTION METHOD OF ADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATES

California Department of Social Services PIN 21-09-CCLD June 17, 2021 TO: CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATORS (PROSPECTIVE AND CURRENT)ADULT AND SENIOR CARE PROGRAM LICENSEESCHILDREN’S RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM LICENSEESADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM TRAINING VENDORS Original signed by Kevin Gaines FROM:KEVIN GAINESDeputy DirectorCommunity Care Licensing Division SUBJECT – ADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATION SECTION: CHANGE IN DISTRIBUTION METHOD OF ADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATES Provider Information Notice (PIN) Summary PIN 21-09-CCLD describes the new method of Administrator Certificate distribution for certified administrators of Adult Residential Facilities, Group Homes, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, and Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs.

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Visitor Limitations Guidance

AFL 20-38.7 From the California Department of Public Health June 16, 2021 TO: All FacilitiesSUBJECT: Visitor Limitations Guidance(This AFL supersedes AFL 20-38.6) All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL revision updates and consolidates California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH’s) visitation guidance into single set of recommendations for all facilities in all counties, considering California is moving Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework effective June 15, 2021.This AFL also provides updated visitation guidance based upon CDC’s updated healthcare infection prevention and control recommendations in response to COVID-19 vaccination for non-long-term care facilities (e.g., General Acute Care Hospitals, Acute Psychiatric Hospitals).Long-term care (LTC) facilities should continue to refer to AFL 20-22.8 for updated LTC visitation guidance.

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As California Fully Reopens, Governor Newsom Announces Plans to Lift Pandemic Executive Orders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Friday, June 11, 2021Contact: Governor’s Press Office (916) 445-4571 Governor to lift Stay-at-Home Order and retire county tier system on June 15 as the state fully reopens SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today took action to lift pandemic executive orders as the state moves Beyond the Blueprint next week to fully, safely reopen. That includes terminating the Stay-at-Home Order that was implemented early in the pandemic to protect Californians and retiring the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccine Recommendations for Eligible Individuals Prior to Discharge

AFL 21-20 From the California Department of Public Health June 9, 2021 TO: General Acute Care Hospitals (GACHs)Acute Psychiatric Hospitals (APHs)SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccine Recommendations for Eligible Individuals Prior to Discharge All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL recommends GACHs and APHs offer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible individuals prior to discharge. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recognizes that not all GACHs and APHs currently have the ability to take these steps.

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Annual Notice of Grant Opportunity to Benefit Nursing Facility Residents and Update to Application Requirements

AFL 21-19 From the California Department of Public Health June 8, 2021 TO: Skilled Nursing FacilitiesNursing FacilitiesSUBJECT: Annual Notice of Grant Opportunity to Benefit Nursing Facility Residents and Update to Application Requirements ​AUTHORITY:     Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations section 488.433 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL serves as an annual notice to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and nursing facilities (NFs) regarding the availability of federal civil money penalty (CMP) funds that may be used to support projects that benefit and improve the care of residents.Applicants may submit a CMP grant application to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) electronically or by mail.

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GACH Reporting Requirements of Specified Health-Associated Infections (HAI)

AFL 21-18 From the California Department of Public Health June 8, 2021 TO: General Acute Care Hospitals (GACH) SUBJECT: GACH Reporting Requirements of Specified Health-Associated Infections (HAI)  (This AFL supersedes AFLs 07-37, 08-10, and 13-03) ​AUTHORITY:     Health and Safety Code sections 1288.5 and 1288.8 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL informs GACHs of the discontinuation of the following process measure reporting requirements pursuant HSC section 1288.8:Central Line Insertion Practices (CLIP) reporting requirements to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)Surgical Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Measures reportingGACHs must continue to report the following to CDPH through the NHSN:Central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel (HCP)Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infection (BSI)Surgical site infection (SSI)Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) BSI Background Health and Safety Code 1288.8 requires that each GACH report to CDPH on infection prevention process measures that have been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).

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Requirements for Application Submission for Online or Distance Learning Nurse Assistant Training Programs (NATPs)

AFL 20-89.1 From the California Department of Public Health June 7, 2021 TO: Skilled Nursing FacilitiesIntermediate Care FacilitiesEducational InstitutionsSUBJECT: Requirements for Application Submission for Online or Distance Learning Nurse Assistant Training Programs (NATPs) ​AUTHORITY:Health and Safety Code (HSC) section 1337.1, 1337.15, 1337.16 and 1337.3 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary The eLearning Review Unit was created as a result of the chaptering of Assembly Bill (AB) 2850 (Chapter 769, Statutes of 2018), allowing NATPs to offer 60 hours of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) approved classroom training in an online or distance learning format.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Mitigation Plan Recommendations for Testing of Health Care Personnel (HCP) and Residents at Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)

AFL 20-53.4 From the California Department of Public Health June 7, 2021 TO: Skilled Nursing Facilities SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Mitigation Plan Recommendations for Testing of Health Care Personnel (HCP) and Residents at Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)(This AFL supersedes AFL 20-53.3) All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL provides updated recommendations from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for SNFs conducting diagnostic screening testing of SNF health care personnel (HCP), and response-driven testing of SNF residents and HCP to prevent spread of COVID-19 in the facility informed by CDC recommendations and CMS requirements.This revision updates and clarifies CDPH routine diagnostic screening testing guidance for SNF HCP based upon their individual COVID-19 vaccination status and the SNF’s percentage of residents and HCP that are fully vaccinated.  Updated Testing Guidance Based Upon Progress with COVID-19 VaccinationRoutine SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic screening testing of SNF HCP, and response testing of SNF residents and HCP have been essential to protect the vulnerable SNF population.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Testing Recommendations for Patients and Health Care Personnel (HCP) at General Acute Care Hospitals (GACHs)

AFL 20-88.1 From the California Department of Public Health June 7, 2021 TO: General Acute Care Hospitals SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Testing Recommendations for Patients and Health Care Personnel (HCP) at General Acute Care Hospitals (GACHs) ​All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL provides updated recommendations from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for weekly SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic screening testing for healthcare personnel (HCP) in hospitals, and recommendations for the testing of newly admitted patients.

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