"Connecticut's nursing home operators and their employees provide an incredible service to the people of our state, including the 22,000 residents receive direct care in nursing homes on a daily basis. I want to extend my profound gratitude to them, particularly during this unprecedented global pandemic that is having a particularly adverse impact on the elderly and individuals with disabilities residing in long-term care settings." Governor Ned Lamont, April 19, 2020 

       LeadingAge COVID-19 Information Page

 

COVID-19 Information and Resource

Information from CT DPH

Information from CT DSS

Information from CDC

LeadingAge COVID-19 Information Page

HUD Resources

CDC Long Term Care, Nursing Homes

CDC Criteria for Return to Work for HCP with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19

CDC Guidance for HCP Exposed to Covid19

CDC Guidance for Retirement Communities and Independent Living

DPH, CDC and CMS Revised Guidance on Visitors, Infection Control, Etc. March 13

CMS QSO-20-20-All, Prioritization of Survey Activity March 20

CT DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities - March 26

CDC Webinar: Preparing Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities for COVID-19

CMS Updated Guidance for LTC Facilities - April 2

DPH Updated Guidance to Healthcare Practitioners – April 4

CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Positive Diagnoses

CDC Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 

CDC Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings 

CDC Clinical Care Guidance

CDC Guidance for Healthcare Providers about Hand Hygiene and COVID-19

Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities 

DPH Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Healthcare Professionals - April 21

CDC Return to Work Guidance - Updated 

CDC Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages

CDC Updates Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control FAQs

CDC Portal Registration

CDC Issues Interim Updated Guidance on Worker Exposure - May 29

CMS Guidance Issued April 24 through QSO 20-28-NH 

Updated OSHA Guidance - May 26

Recordings of Nursing Home and Assisted Living Call with DPH

 

Vaccine Resources
LeadingAge Vaccine Resource Page
LeadingAge Vaccination Toolkit
The State of Connecticut's Covid-19 vaccine website

 

CDC Vaccine Links and Information
Long-Term Care Facility Toolkit: Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccination at Your Facility
CDC Vaccine Communications Toolkit
Vaccine Safety (cdc.gov)
COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations for Long-Term Care Residents and Staff
Post Vaccine Considerations for Healthcare Personnel | CDC
Post Vaccine Considerations for Residents | CDC
Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination for Residents of Long-term Care Facilities | CDC
Healthcare Professionals: Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccination
CDC: Answering Patient's Questions
CDC Vaccine Information for Consumers

Mathematica Final Report
The Final Report prepared by Mathematica Policy Research that examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted long term care facilities in Connecticut, as well as the state response to the pandemic in long-term care facilities.

CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff & Management
The CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff & Management is available, with five specific modules designed for frontline clinical staff and ten designed for nursing home management. The training is available on the CMS Quality, Safety & Education Portal. Here is the direct link to access the Covid-19 training.

DPH Issues Blast Fax on Nursing Home Visitation
DPH issued Blast Fax 2020-92 : "CMS Nursing Home Visitation - COVID-19" dated September 25, 2020, stating that in light of the CMS September 17 memorandum (directive) on nursing home visitation, DPH will be rescinding their August 27 Commissioners' Order on visitation and enforcing the CMS directive.

DPH Issues Blast Fax on Chronic Disease Hospital Visitation
DPH issued Blast Fax 2020-93: "DPH Guidance on Visitation in Chronic Disease Hospital" dated September 25, 2020, providing new visitation guidance to Chronic Disease Hospitals. The guidance is very similar to the guidance contained in the September 17 CMS visitation memorandum for nursing homes.

DPH Issues Commissioner Order on PPE Stockpile Requirements – September 24
The Commissioner of Public Health issued an order on September 24 requiring nursing homes to reserve a stockpile of PPE and hand sanitizer. Commissioner's Order

DPH Call Notes Posted
The recordings and written summaries of the calls between DPH and the Nursing Homes and ALSAs are posted on the LTC-MAP website.

DOL Revises FFCRA Regulations, Limits Definition of Health Care Employee – September 11
Wiggin and Dana advisory on the revised regulations

CDC Testing Resource Guide for Nursing Homes
CDC created a testing resource guide, compiling links that nursing homes might find useful in navigating the ever-confusing world of COVID testing in nursing homes.

CDC Guidance on Patients with Persistent or Recurrent Positive Tests
The following is the link to the CDC Guidance on Patients with Persistent or Recurrent Positive Tests: Link

Nursing Home Interim Rule on Nursing Home Testing – September 2, 2020
The CMS final rule CMS-3401-IFC that outlines testing requirements for nursing homes became effective on September 2. This LeadingAge article provides an excellent overview of the rule and accompanying guidance.

Checking Community Prevalence
The CMS guidance requires that nursing homes conduct routine testing of all staff according to community prevalence. In order to determine testing based on community prevalence, nursing homes must monitor the nursing home site at data.cms.gov every other week for the positivity rate of the county in which the nursing home is located. The rates of county positivity are posted here. (Archive is here.)

Update to DPH Vendor Guidance Regarding Construction and Renovation
DPH sent out guidance regarding vendors conducting work in facilities and on September 4, 2020 they sent out the following additional guidance.

3 Day Qualifying Hospital Stay Waiver Still in Place
LeadingAge has created this explainer to explain the 3 day qualifying hospital stay waiver that was still in place as of August 2021.

CMS Guidance Nursing Home Interim Rule – August 26
CMS released QSO-20-38-NH on August 26 on the new interim final rule for nursing homes. Link to the LeadingAge article on the new guidance.

 

Fan Use Guidelines
Please refer to the DPH Guidance on Hot Weather Conditions for information regarding use of fans during this time. This guidance may also be helpful to housing providers.

COVID-19 Healthcare Guidance Website
Throughout the pandemic, DPH has issued guidance documents for clinicians and healthcare facilities. That guidance is now posted on a dedicated DPH website.

Building and Fire Safety Memo August 7
Please find attached a memo from Tony Bruno, DPH Building Construction and Fire Safety Unit Supervisor, regarding annual inspections and preventive maintenance during the public health emergency.

Recording of the DSS Call Reviewing the State Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Grant Payments to Qualifying Nursing Home Providers
Nursing homes can access a recording of the DSS statewide call with nursing homes on June 29 that reviewed the process for obtaining the state CRF Grant Payments.
Website with information on the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Grant Payments to Qualifying Nursing Home Providers
New Chart on Available Funding Sources by Blum Shapiro

LeadingAge Isolation and Precautions Quick Sheet
CDC has updated guidance on isolation and precautions in adults with COVID-19. LeadingAge has created this quick sheet to give you the information you need to make sense of the new information and how you can operationalize it for your organization. Link to Quick Sheet

Governor Signs Executive Order Strengthening Workers' Compensation Claims for Essential Workers Impacted by COVID-19
Governor Lamont announced that he has signed an executive order creating a rebuttable presumption that workers who contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it on the job and are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The order covers the time period of March 10 through May 20, 2020. Governor Lamont's Executive Order No. 7JJJ

DPH Infection Control and Testing Guidance Update – June 5 (Updated - See August 12 Guidance) 
DPH has provided updated COVID-19 Infection Control and Testing Guidance for Nursing Homes - June 5, 2020.

DPH Revised Covid-19 Infection Control Guidance for Nursing Homes – June 22 (Updated - See August 12 Guidance) 
DPH has issued revised guidance on Covid-19 Infection Control for Nursing Homes. This guidance is dated June 22, 2020 and updates the June 5, 2020 guidance document.

DPH's Testing Algorithm
The Department of Public Health has created a helpful algorithm chart related to mandatory staff testing. You can find the chart here: Testing Algorithm

DPH Blast Fax on Resident Doors
Blast Fax 2020-61 clarifies that there is no policy that states that resident rooms must remain closed.

DPH Issues Changes to Disclosure of Nursing Home Survey Results
On May 28, DPH issued a memo regarding changes to the manner in which survey results will be posted to the elicensure site. Here is a link to the site where you can download the findings: Public link to survey findings

DPH Guidance on N95 Fit Testing and Use
DPH has issued the attached guidance document on respirator use and fit testing.

Transmission-based Precautions Sign
Please find attached the transmission-based precaution sign designed by another state that the Connecticut DPH has recommended for use when such posting is necessary on a resident door.

For Posting: Room Signs for Droplet Precautions
DPH is expecting signs to be posted on the outside of resident doors when transmission based precautions are in place. Examples of signs can be found at the bottom of the CDC article at this link.

DPH Commissioner’s Order Modifies Some Nursing Home Regulations
DPH Commissioner issued the following Order on May 22 that modifies the following nursing home regulations during the remainder of the public health emergency:
• Medical Staff Meetings
• Feeding Assistants
• Physician Visits
• Medical Examinations
• Bed Placement
• IV Therapy

CDC - Considerations for Memory Care Units in Long-term Care Facilities

Mary Wade PPS Testing Experience
The recent point prevalence survey resident and employee testing experience was published in the attached article.

CDC: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE
Link to Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE

LeadingAge Communication Tools Updated
LeadingAge Coronavirus Communication and Media Tools page

Community LTSS COVID-19 Dashboard
Please find attached the dashboard for COVID-19 cases in the state's community network of long term services and supports as of May 29.

State Map of Cases
Please find attached the state map illustrating the concentration of identified COVID-19 cases.

DPH Recommendations for PPE in Home Health Care
The following is a memo released by DPH providing recommendations on the use of PPE in the home health care setting.

Link to all DPH Blast Faxes
All DPH blast faxes are posted on their website at the following link: Link to DPH Blast Faxes

Recordings for CMS National Stakeholder Calls on COVID-19
You can access recordings of the calls along with transcripts on the following link. 

PASRR Screening to Continue
Connecticut has chosen not to take advantage of the CMS waiver of Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASRR) and therefore the PASRR screening will continue to be required for admission to the nursing home. See DSS notice.

State Lab Testing for Health Care Workers
COVID-19 PCR testis can be sent to the State Public Health Laboratory in Rocky Hill. The attached COVID19 Test Requisition Form must accompany the testing specimen which can be delivered to the lab via medical courier. 

CDC: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE
Link to Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE

CDC Guidance on PPE Burn Rate Calculation
The CDC has released a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator which is a spreadsheet-based model that provides information for healthcare facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator App

Donning and Removing PPE
The following link is to an instructional chart by CDC on the proper method to put on and remove PPE.

CDC LTC Frontline Staff Training Webinars
CDC has established new resources for frontline staff. These short webinars are all published on the Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) web page at the bottom under a "Webinar Series" section.

Guidance Issued by the Funeral Directors Association
DPH has issued Blast Fax 2020-37 clarifying the licensed practitioners other than physicians who are authorized to certify deaths, including Registered Nurses. The blast fax also includes a guidance document from the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association written to Facilitate the Transfer of a Deceased Patient from Hospice, Nursing Homes and Home Care Settings.

CDC Guidance and Webinar on Certifying Deaths Due to COVID-19
The CDC/National Center of Health Statistics has provided the attached guidance for certifying deaths due to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Blast Fax: Recommendations for the Deceased in Nursing Homes
DPH has issued Blast Fax 2020-21 regarding recommendations for the deceased in nursing homes. It contains guidance to prevent the need for the funeral director to enter the hallways of the facility as well as reminding homes to have a physician's order in the clinical record that permits an RN pronouncement. The Funeral Directors Association suggests contacting the funeral director now to discuss your plans ahead of time to avoid any confusion. 
Note: DPH has also issued Blast Fax 2020-15A regarding How to Certify Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Deaths

Recording of the DSS Call Reviewing the State Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Grant Payments to Qualifying Nursing Home Providers
Nursing homes can access a recording of the DSS statewide call with nursing homes on June 29 that reviewed the process for obtaining the state CRF Grant Payments.
Website with information on the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Grant Payments to Qualifying Nursing Home Providers
New Chart on Available Funding Sources by Blum Shapiro

DSS Posts FAQ Document on Nursing Home Covid-19 Grants
The Department of Social Services has posted the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on their website in response to the questions jointly submitted by LeadingAge Connecticut and CAHCF regarding the process and conditions of accessing the Coronavirus Relief Fund Nursing Home Grants. The FAQ Document can be found here and the document contains the link to the revised required documents.

DSS Memo on Stimulus Checks
Please find attached a DSS memo`1 dated June 3 regarding the Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks) issued to Medicaid and State Supplement recipients. Reminder, providers are prohibited from seizing stimulus funds from residents. In addition, an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card may have been mailed to your residents. The EIP card contains the stimulus money they are receiving as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The EIP Card is sponsored by the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service as part of the US Debit Card Program. The EIP card website contains a great deal of valuable information about these cards, including how to transfer funds into a personal account. Link to EIP website

Adult Day Services Rate for Modified Services
Effective March 23, the state has requested that providers of Adult Day Health Services be permitted to provide and bill for Adult Day  Services for participants who are not able to attend the center in person. In order to bill as a remote service, the provider must contact the client and or a family member and assess the client utilizing a template provided by CAADS. In addition, they must provide a minimum of two meals that would be delivered to the participant. More information can be found on this DSS bulletin or by contacting CAADS at [email protected] 

RCH Information
CDC Guidance: On the DPH call with residential care homes (RCHs), the state epidemiologists recommended that RCHs utilize the CDC guidance for shared congregate housing settings. That guidance can be found here: Link to CDC guidance for shared or congregate housing

RCH Medication Administration Online Course: DPH has issued an order to allow for the online training, certification and re-certification of RCH Medication Technicians. The executive order can be found here and contains a link to the training course on CT-Train: Link to DPH Order dated June 1

Goals of Care at End of Life
Our colleagues at the Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home and Hospice have shared the following tools to assist consumers, patients and families with having the difficult conversations about goals of care at end of life.
The Conversation Project's Being Prepared in the Time of Covid-19
In-Patient Script from Washington State, Core Healthcare Group
Out-Patient Script from Washington State, Core Healthcare Group 

LTC Ombudsman Issues Letters Reminding Nursing Homes to Post Staffing Levels – July 1, 2020
The State Long Term Care Ombudsman has issued the attached letters reminding nursing homes of the staff posting requirements. One of the letters is to residents and family members and should be considered a formal communication from her office to them.
LTCOP Letter to Residents and Families (7/1/20)
LTCOP Letter to Nursing Homes (7/1/20)

LTC Ombudsman Contact Information for Involuntary Transfer/Discharge Notices
As the state offices begin to move toward a more remote workforce, the LTC Ombudsman wants to inform you that while their phone lines will remain open, they are asking that information regarding involuntary/discharge notices be sent by email rather than by fax. The email address is [email protected]

CMS Expansion of Telehealth Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries During COVID-19 Outbreak
On March 17, CMS announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of health care services from their doctors without having to travel to a health care facility. Beginning on March 6, 2020, Medicare-administered by CMS-will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country.
For More Information:
Fact Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions

Wiggin and Dana Summary of the FFCRA Regulations
Link to regulations
Link to full Wiggin and Dana summary

COVID-19 Fact Sheets in 35 Languages
The Health Literacy Project has translated Covid-19 fact sheets into 35 languages. Link to Health Literacy Project

New HUD Guidance for Electronic Signatures and Documents
HUD has finalized guidance to allow (but not require) HUD-assisted senior housing communities to use electronic signatures and documents for certain management operations. LeadingAge has developed a summary of the guidance here.

Nebulizer Treatment Protocols
Thattached guidance regarding nebulizer treatments in long term care facilities for patients with diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 was provided by DPH today.

Practical Ideas from Members
Look for Member Ideas & Inspiration at this link to the LeadingAge website.

Caring for Persons Living with Dementia in a Long-Term or Community-Based Care Setting
The Alzheimer's Association's guidance document for emergency preparedness can be found here. LeadingAge is also working this week with a group of members to develop some helpful guidance.

Older Adult Mental Health Resources
Mental Health First Aid Training
National Coalition of Mental Health and Aging Resources

National CNA Association Releases CNA Education on COVID-19
The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) has created and released the first in a series of courses aimed specifically at providing CNAs education on COVID-19. This content is aimed at helping those who work in senior care to protect themselves and those they serve. NAHCA's goal is to support CNAs and all healthcare professionals to provide compassionate and quality care in these difficult times.
The courses are located on NAHCA's website. They are provided free of charge and can be accessed by anyone.

Published Information on Washington's Kirkland Nursing Home Case
COVID-19 in a Long-Term Care Facility - King County, Washington, February 27-March 9, 2020 Early Release / March 18, 2020 / 69 - CDC Website Link to CDC

Utilizing Graduate Nurses
Graduate nurses are those who have just graduated and have yet to take the NCLEX. In normal times, graduate nurses can work for 90 days post-graduation and prior to passing the NCLEX and being licensed. The timeframe for graduate nurses to work post-graduation and prior to licensure was extended to the end of the emergency. The extension of time for graduate nurses was the only change that was made and it applied to both LPNs and RNs. Memo from DPH

FEMA Pandemic Disaster Preparedness
FEMA has published an exercise starter kit for providers to update emergency response plans during the health crisis. The kit includes samples slides and discussion questions for providers across the continuum to adapt current hurricane (or other) disaster response plans to the pandemic. June 2020