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NYS CORONAVIRUS DOH Advisories, Mandatory Reporting, and Argentum Coronavirus Preparation and Response Toolkit

New York State COVID-19 Update from Hodes & Landy: March 29, 2020

DOH Health Advisories

Click here for the March 28 updated DOH Health Advisory: Protocols for Personnel to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure.

DOH has issued this updated Advisory on protocols for releasing individuals from home isolation after either exposure or testing positive to COVID-19.

DOH has issued guidance on ACF operations.  It covers a number of topics including the process for requesting PPE; clarification that CHRC rules remaining effect; guidance on required medical evaluations for staff and residents; clarifications on he utilization of the Uniform Assessment System; procedures regarding congregate dining and medication management; clarifications on activities, visitors, deliveries, and facility repairs; and requirements related to POCs.

Health Advisory: Respiratory Illness in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities in Areas of Sustained Community Transmission of COVID-19

DOH has issued a Health Advisories for all health care providers on the identification and testing of COVID-19 persons under investigation.

DOH has also issued DAL 20-10 COVID-19 Guidance for Adult Care Facilities. All  ACF/Assisted Living Residence COVID-19 related questions should be submitted to covidadultcareinfo@health.ny.gov.

In response to our inquiry about the use of cloth face masks and how to proceed when there is a lack of available face masks, the Department responded that providers should make all efforts to obtain masks through the usual channels (vendors, county OEM).  If these measures are exhausted and unsuccessful, providers should see guidance from CDC about measures that can be taken when no masks are available. 

The Department further stated that use of homemade masks such as scarfs, bandanas, handkerchiefs should be used with caution and should be a last resort. These are not considered PPE because it is unknown whether they will protect HCWs. If homemade masks are used, the should ideally be used in combination with a face shield (a plastic shield secured to the head by a band) that covers the entire front of the face.

DOH COVID-19 Herds Surveys

DOH reminds all Adult Care Facilities that residents’ rights have not been waived at this time and all providers should follow the existing law and  regulations, and their approved policies and procedures for discharge. This includes accepting residents back from the hospital provided the attending  physician has deemed them appropriate for return.The Department further reminds providers of the procedure to requests additional PPE.

If you are running low on PPE, please contact us immediately and we will elevate your needs to the State. NYS DOH is requiring all assisted living providers to enter and update data on their residents for the

COVID-19 HERDS survey on the Health Commerce System needs each day no later than 3 PM.

All demographic information is pre-populated. Please remind staff that roles on the Health Commerce System need to be up to date and all fields should be completed in order for the survey to be submitted.

The following roles on the HCS can complete the Survey: Administrators, Data Reporter, Emergency Response Coordinator, HPN Coordinator, Director of Resident Services.

IMPORTANT:  COVID-19 HERDS Survey responses will be required throughout the weekend (3/21-3/22).  DOH reminds all providers to be as accurate as possible with respect to resident and census information.

Argentum Information and Toolkit

Argentum has created a Coronavirus Toolkit that contains excellent information and additional resources for providers of assisted living.

Some highlights from the Toolkit include the use of personal protective equipment, best practices for cleaning major touchpoints, monitoring and surveillance, communication plans and a “What to do Now” checklist.

Argentum will host a webinar on COVID-19 Preparation and Response on Wednesday, March 25 from 2-3:30 p.m. EDT. The session is limited to 500 people, so register now.

Obtaining additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If your community needs additional PPE, please remember to submit a request to your local County Office of Emergency Management. To read more about the request process, please click here.

Additional Resources

CDC Website

CDC Website for Long-Term Care Facilities

NYS Coronavirus Website

For additional information or questions, please call Michele O’Connor at 518.465.8303.

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