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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Federal Updates

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.)

NYS Updates

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:

Health Advisory Revised Adult Care Facility Visitation

Resumption of Salon Services in ACFs and ALRs

NYS Long-Term Care Facilities Immunization Program Enrollment Letter

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement

Coalition of New York Adult Care/Assisted Living Providers Seek State Relief from Extraordinary Year Of Covid-19 Related Costs

Argentum New York Letter to the Editor

COVID-19 Resources

Wadsworth Center Lists Labs With Excess Testing Capacity

Labs with the greatest excess capacity, and a current reported average turn-around time of less than 4 days, are listed each week on the Wadsworth Center website here. Please check back frequently as the list is updated regularly.

DOH Advisories and Directives

New Health Advisory September 9, 2020: Visitation in Adult Care Facilities

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.

Please click here to access the COVID-19 Infection Control checklist for ACFs/ALRs and here for the accompanying guidance document.

Executive Orders

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. 

Mandatory Reporting

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.

Upcoming Webinar 12/10: Best Practices for Infection Prevention and Control for Assisted Living
Argentum recently released new Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control designed specifically for assisted living communities. This webinar, open to members and nonmembers, is designed to provide a high-level overview of Argentum’s IPC guidance to help communities assess readiness for various infectious diseases and emerging pathogens. Join us on Thursday, December 10 at 1pm ET. Register.

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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