Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Wednesday, May 20 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
As reported yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance on a three-phased approach to reopening senior care facilities and nursing homes which includes enhanced testing requirements.
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Considerations for Performing Facility-wide SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Nursing Homes. The CDC recommends nursing homes have a plan to respond to results of testing prior to initial testing. The plan should include cohorting approaches based on testing results and exclude COVID positive personnel from work, as well as reflect policies to mitigate possible staff shortages. The testing and plan should also include discontinuation of transmission-based precautions for residents and a procedure for when positive staff will be allowed to return to work. Additional guidance on using testing to guide infection prevention and control is available within the Testing Guidance for Nursing Homes webpage.
Additionally, during yesterday's press conference Governor DeWine called on the Ohio National Guard to begin assisting Ohio nursing homes with COVID-19 testing.
"We’re going to push the testing as hard as we can in these nursing homes,” stated Governor DeWine. “And I think in the next seven days we’re going to be able to report to you a lot more progress in that area.”
Fourteen teams of 10 members each equipped with medical professionals will be assisting the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) with testing. Many questions remain about costs, execution, timelines, and more, and LeadingAge Ohio is working with other colleague associations and the Administration to get a clear understanding of what this type of testing might entail.
An Associated Press story on the scale up in testing was released yesterday which provides an overview and features commentary from LeadingAge Ohio.
LeadingAge Ohio is aware that members have many questions on these developments - please continue to share those with LeadingAge Ohio staff and via the COVID19@leadingageohio.org email address. We are working with the DeWine Administration and our national affiliate LeadingAge to gain more insight into both the federal and state implications of these developments.
LeadingAge Ohio will hold an all-member call next week to provide continued guidance with support from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
As reported yesterday, the joint survey created by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has undergone some updates. ODH has made the survey mandatory beginning with yesterday’s submission.
**A point of clarification - this survey is not intended for hospice and home health providers.
The survey was due by 5:00 pm yesterday (May 19), today (May 20), and tomorrow (May 21). While the majority of the survey remains the same, a few questions have been added or modified to account for changes in testing capacity that did not exist several weeks ago.
Governor DeWine released details of the new "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory" yesterday, which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on April 30. LeadingAge Ohio will share the new health advisory as soon as it is released.
The health order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay at home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those who are high-risk, stay at home as much as possible. The order does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remain at a 10-person limit. The new health advisory also lifts overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio. Unnecessary travel within or outside of Ohio is not encouraged.
A small group of LeadingAge Ohio members is working to create a tool for helping staff evaluate both travel and gathering decision-making.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency have teamed up to produce a one-stop web source of information for individuals on eviction protections and foreclosure relief under COVID-19.
Resources on the webpage include:
Visit the webpage to learn more.
LeadingAge Ohio member activity professionals are continuing to meet bi-weekly through a Zoom platform hosted by Kendal at Oberlin Director of Creative Arts Therapy/Dementia Specialist Michele Tarsitano-Amato. The next call is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, at 12:30 PM.
As a result of previous calls, LeadingAge Ohio has compiled a resource page for our members’ activity professionals that is available on the LeadingAge Ohio Hub. The page includes sample care plans, ideas to address social isolation in older adults, tech support and training, and more. Additional resources are being added every week so be sure and connect your activity team to this page. Please contact Jen Taylor at email@example.com for assistance in accessing this valuable resource.
Next Zoom Fellowship Meeting for Activity Professionals
Thursday, May 28 from 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
Host: CreativeArtsKendal@gmail.com is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join the Zoom Meeting online.
Meeting ID: 979 1175 8968
There are 29,436 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,781 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 5,198 people have been hospitalized, including 1,369 admissions to intensive care units.
In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices.