Skilled Nursing Facility

New guidance issued to safely reopen LTC facilities

CMS released new guidance for states working to safely reopen LTC facilities. The guidance, part of the Trump Administration Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, details infection control, testing, and surveillance recommendations that states should follow in order to reopen.

“Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on nursing homes, and as we reopen America, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  “Our focus continues to be the safety and quality of life of nursing home residents and while we are not at a point where nursing homes can safely open up, we want to make sure communities have a plan in place when they are ready to reopen.”

CMS recommends that states work closely with state survey agencies to develop a reopening plan, taking the following into close consideration:

  • Status of COVID-19 cases in the local community
  • Status of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes
  • Adequate staffing
  • Baseline test of all residents, weekly testing of all staff, practicing social distancing, and universal source control for residents and visitors (e.g., face coverings)
  • Access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Local hospital capacity