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!
- COVID-19 Tests are now required for every resident being discharged from a hospital before being admitted or re-admitted to a nursing facility. The Pennsylvania Department of Health offered interim guidance that all existing residents and new admissions must have a negative COVID-19 test before returning or being admitting into a long-term care setting.
- Visitor Policy. According to the PA Department of Health, visitation policies are still restricted in long-term care settings. The following personnel are exempt from visitor restrictions and are therefore permitted to access nursing care facilities:
- Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other clinicians;
- Home health and dialysis services;
- The Department of Aging/Area Agency on Aging and the Department of Human Services where there is concern for serious bodily injury, sexual abuse, or serious physical injury; and
- Hospice services, clergy and bereavement counselors, offered by licensed providers within the NCF, as well as the Department of Health or agents working on behalf of the Department, or local public health officials.
- All WRC Employees to receive Module 3 of Coronavirus Education. Employees will receive the third installment of their coronavirus education this month, including refreshers on the chain of infection, and precautions including contact, airborne, and droplet precautions. Employees will also be refreshed on handwashing procedures, handling client care equipment, and handling biohazardous waste.
- Having trouble sleeping? BlanQuil is offering 50% off weighted blankets to essential healthcare workers, first responders, and military. Find out more about how to get the deal here.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma shared a letter to nursing home management and staff. Administrator Verma shared her gratitude for the dedication and commitment of nursing home management and staff in keeping residents safe and for their care for those who rely on them during this unprecedented time. The letter also provides links to previously shared infection control resources.
- The PA Department of Health has announced initiatives for universal testing in long-term care settings. The PA DOH has begun procedures to implement universal testing of staff and residents; increase transparency through public reporting of outbreaks, deaths and testing; and provide ongoing direct support, including regulatory inspections, personal protection equipment and on-site staffing support.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new recommendations for memory care units in long-term care facilities amid the coronavirus. The CDC says the first step in caring for people living with dementia in any setting is to understand that changes in behavior (e.g., increased agitation, confusion, sudden sadness) or worsening symptoms of dementia should be evaluated because they can be an indication of worsening stress and anxiety as well as COVID-19 or other infections.
- LeadingAge’s new initiative, Older Americans Lives at Stake, asks five essential actions: Assurance that states will not reopen without first ensuring older Americans are safe and protected; Immediate access to ample PPE for all care providers who serve older Americans, not just nursing homes; On-demand access to rapid-results testing for older adults and their care providers; Recognition for the heroic frontline workers serving older Americans in nursing homes, assisted living, affordable housing, and home and community based settings, including hospice — just as we’ve recognized hospital workers and others who have kept America running; and Funding and support for aging services providers across the continuum of care. In its next relief package, Congress must allocate $100 billion to cover COVID-19 needs, and provide critical support for aging services: hazard pay for frontline workers, federal housing assistance, and support to deliver telehealth, access to loans, Medicaid increases, and administrative relief.
- LeadingAge seeks $1.2 billion in funding for affordable housing. LeadingAge is focused on a $1.2 billion package of funding for COVID-related expenses, Service Coordinators, and the installation and services fees for wireless internet in affordable senior housing communities.