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!
- The PA Department of Health announced July 28 that all 693 nursing homes in Pennsylvania have completed testing all residents and staff for COVID-19 at least once, in accordance with Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s universal testing order issued June 8. “This was an essential step to ensure that we further protect residents and staff within these vulnerable communities,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We provided nursing home owners and operators with the resources they needed to complete this huge task and we are appreciative for their cooperation. Through our partnership with CVS Health and Eurofins we will continue to provide skilled nursing facilities with access to testing services at no cost.”
- Universal baseline testing continues across WRC communities. To date, the Laurelbrooke Landing CCRC in Brookville has all been tested, including residents, tenants, and employees of Laurelbrooke Personal Care, McKinley Health Center, The Laurels, and The Villages. Tenants and employees of North Fork Heights in Brookville have also completed their testing. The remaining WRC communities have their testing scheduled as follows:
- August 11th – Highland Oaks and The Villas at Water Run Landing
- August 12th – Edgewood Heights
- August 13th – Ridgmont and the Village at Ridgmont
- Universal baseline testing is the first step in the PA Department of Health’s reopening guidance for Skilled Nursing Facilities. The reopening plan is in three phases, and CMS does not recommend opening facilities to visitors (except for compassionate care situations) until phase three when:
- there have been no new, nursing home onset COVID-19 cases in the nursing home for 28 days (through phases one and two)
- the nursing home is not experiencing staff shortages
- the nursing home has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and essential cleaning and disinfection supplies to care for residents
- the nursing home has adequate access to testing for COVID-19
- Referral hospital(s) have bed capacity on wards and intensive care units
- Regional Response Health Collaboratives Launch 24/7 COVID-19 Support Call Centers for Long-Term Care Facilities. The Wolf Administration recently announced the availability of 24/7 call centers to provide clinical and operational support to long-term care facilities as they protect residents and staff from COVID-19. The call centers are run and staffed by health systems participating in the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP), the education and clinical support network launched for long-term care providers earlier this month.
- The Trump Administration Announced New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19. These initiatives include new sources of funding for long-term care facilities, access to enhanced testing, additional technical assistance and support, and weekly data on high risk nursing homes. Read more about CMS multi-pronged approach here.
- Senate Republicans introduced the HEALS Act package on July 27. While this act features many different coronavirus relief components, this article from LeadingAge summarizes key provisions as they relate to aging services.