Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living
Member Alert
March 3, 2020

Coronavirus Update No. 3
Conditions seem to change on an hourly basis. Currently, there have been 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County, with nine deaths reported in our state. Excellent information and regular updates can be found on the King County Department of Health website and the CDC COVID-19 website. WHCA has also posted a wide range of information on it’s COVID-19 Resource Page. In addition, Lane Powell has provided guidance to long term care providers on legal and regulatory considerations associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Regulatory Update COVID-19

In discussions today with Residential Care Services (RCS), they reminded us that skilled nursing and assisted living facilities are required to report any outbreaks of “ notifiable conditions,” including influenza and COVID-19, to the local public health department and ALTSA-Residential Care Services. A list of Washington State local health departments and Districts can be found here. Chapter 246-101 WAC outlines notifiable conditions and information regarding the duties of a health care facility. RCS is monitoring all reports to the Department’s complaint resolution unit to assist in tracking facilities affected and the scope of outbreaks of infectious disease across the state. RCS is looking at each report on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action for protection of the residents, community, and their staff prior to assignment of an onsite investigation.

Guidance from RCS and the Department of Health that we referenced in our last update is pending and should be released soon. To date, the most recent guidance from RCS is found in the Dear Administrator/Provider Letters for assisted living and skilled nursing facilities dated February 21, 2020.

Washington State Department of Health will be holding a webinar to discuss COVID-19 prevention for the long term care setting on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at 3:00 pm. To register click here.

The DoH webinar will:
  1. Describe clinical presentation and epidemiology for COVID-19
  2. Summarize the role of the public health response
  3. Describe the infection prevention and control procedures for long term care
  4. Provide healthcare resources for COVID-19

WHCA will continue to keep you informed through regular updates as events unfold. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact Robin Dale , Elena Madrid or Vicki McNealley .