March 15, 2020
AHCA Clarifies Visitation Requirements for ALFs

During a press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center on Saturday, Governor DeSantis directed Director Jared Moskowitz to expand his emergency order and prohibit all visitation to assisted living facilities and nursing homes for the next 30 days. 

This morning, we received the following clarifying information from the Agency for Health Care Administration:

  • Prohibiting visitors to facilities does not apply to any third party providing necessary health care to a resident as long as that third party person is screened prior to entering and has not met certain screening criteria regarding symptoms as well as recent travel that would prohibit them from entering. 
  • They would also be expected to wear personal protective equipment.

AHCA Activates the Emergency Status System (ESS)

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has opened the event "COVID-19 Monitoring" in the Emergency Status System to monitor nursing center and assisted living facility census, available beds, and related information statewide.
All assisted living facilities are asked to ensure the "Facility Contacts" section is up-to-date and to report Current Resident Census and available beds daily by 10:00 a.m. EDT starting today (Sunday, March 15) until further notice.
If needed, click here to access instructions for entering facility data for events (see pages 1-4 of the document "How to Locate and Enter Event Information" under the Details column).

For additional assistance with ESS, please contact the appropriate AHCA licensing unit during normal business hours: Assisted Living Unit, at 850-412-4304.

CMS’s memo above dated March 13, 2020  includes guidance to “ cancel communal dining and all group activities ” in skilled nursing facilities. While this CMS guidance is not a requirement for assisted living communities, all long term care facilities should take all reasonably available steps to adhere, given the dire consequences of the spread of COVID-19 among our resident population. 
This virus is now reported in 49 states. You should assume it is already in your surrounding community, whether or not it has been confirmed, due to lack of testing to-date. The experience in the Seattle, Washington area suggests spread may have been facilitated by group activities, including perhaps communal dining.

Shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If you are imminently (within 3-4 days) about to exhaust specific PPE supplies, you should take these steps in this order: 

  1. Contact your local healthcare coalition 
  2. Contact your local health department 
  3. Contact your state health department 

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