COVID-19 Vaccine Information
HHS Pharmacy Partnership Program
On October 16th, HHS announced that it has partnered with CVS and Walgreens for the complete management of the COVID-19 vaccination process for long-term care communities. Currently, no vaccines have received FDA-authorization, but the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program is being established in anticipation that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be available before the end of the year.
HHS has indicated that CVS and Walgreens will also be scheduling and coordinating dates for vaccine administration on-site at each community. This may involve multiple visits over the course of approximately two months to administer vaccine doses (if more than one required) to residents and staff.
The deadline for senior living providers, including assisted living and independent living community providers, to opt-in to HHS’ pharmacy partnership program for vaccine management has been extended to Friday, November 6. (The previous deadline was Friday, October 30.)
New York State has created a program, similar to the federal pharmacy program, that adult care facility and assisted living providers can enroll in to ensure access to a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available. New York City providers will have a separate program just for that region.
The Department has posted information detailing the program which can be found here: (use attachments in second email).
We know there are many unknowns at this point in time but we strongly encourage you to enroll in both the State (or NYC) program and the federal program to prevent any access issues or gaps.
Send questions regarding the NYSDOH enrollment process to: COVID19Vaccine@health.ny.gov
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DOH Advisories and Directives
Please follow this link for the publication which provides healthcare providers in New York State, including ACFs and ALRs, with a consolidated update of guidance released by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. This will show the current guidance for any given topic and will be updated to reflect new guidance. Here is the updated Return to Work Policy.
DAL C20-01 re-iterates the recent Executive Orders regarding reporting COVID-19 positive cases and COVID-19 related deaths to family members and next of kin and also highlights best practices for keeping residents and families engaged during the pandemic.
Here are Updated Criteria for Discontinuing Isolation for Residents with COVID-19. Follow this link for the requirements for new admissions and re-admissions to ACFs/ALRs after hospitalization. The Advisory specifically states that no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the ACF solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.
The Governor has issued Executive Order 202.40, which modifies E.O. 202.30 by mandating that staff of ACFs/ALRs in regions that have entered Phase 2 only need to be tested once per week. Read the DAL and FAQs on staff testing requirements and and the Hospital Discharge Directive.
COVID-19 HERDS Survey responses will be required daily throughout the pandemic. DOH reminds all providers to be as accurate as possible with respect to resident and census information.
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 p.m.
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.
Argentum Coronavirus Preparation and Response 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.
For additional information or questions, please call Michele O’Connor at 518.465.8303.