WRC Weekly COVID-19 Update
We’re sharing our weekly update to keep WRC employees, residents, and families informed of changing regulations and policies at the national and state level, as well as within the WRC continuum. Thank you to all WRC essential workers!
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will deliver ‘point-of-care’ COVID-19 test kits to all skilled nursing facilities. The testing devices initially are to be given to 2,000 nursing homes next week, said Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Admiral Brett Giroir. He described them as “rapid on the spot, 20 tests per hour” devices and said that the goal is to get them to “every single of the 15,400 nursing homes within this country.” Nursing homes would receive the devices in an order “ranked by Administrator Verma and her team,” as determined by the rate of the virus’ spread in the surrounding community, Giroir added. The administration has said lately that it has been focusing certain efforts on “hotspot” areas. For more specifics on the CMS plan for rapid point-of-care COVID-19 testing, see this article from McKnight’s long-term care news.
- In a recent video, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma discusses five things the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes. These include: Nursing homes are required to inform residents, families, and responsible parties of COVID-19 cases, and report information to the CDC; Nursing homes must restrict non-essential visitors, and screen essential visitors; State-based inspectors have shifted to a new, focused infection control process to assess compliance and readiness; CMS issued a call to action reinforcing infection control responsibilities and urging leaders to work with nursing homes to access testing and PPE; and CMS has established an independent commission of stakeholders to assess nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See more in the video below.
- WRC Senior Services continues to conduct and plan universal baseline testing for COVID-19 in all communities. To date, Laurelbrooke Personal Care, The Villages and The Laurels at Laurelbrooke Landing, and North Fork Heights communities have all received their baseline tests. McKinley Health Center is scheduled to receive their tests on July 21, 2020. All other communities testing dates are currently being coordinated, and will be scheduled before August 31, 2020.
- The American Nurses Foundation has launched a well-being initiative, including free tools to support the mental health and resilience of all nurses. Nurses have access to a suite of free tools and resources specifically designed to support their mental health and well-being during this time. Please visit this link to learn more about the resources they have available.