March 26, 2020 -- Please keep reading our information because the messaging is changing every hour of every day. Below is the latest information provided to the association -- please note that we will continue to send updates as soon as we receive any new information.
Don't Forget to Dial In to the Daily DOH Aging and Vulnerable Populations Conference Call

Please plan to participate on the daily Department of Health's Vulnerable Populations Conference Call at 4:15 p.m. EDT every day. The call in number and pass code are below:

Call in number: 1-888 585 9008
Pass code:. 208 305 233 

Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of
Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”-- Donald Trump, President


COVID-19 Press Releases and Emergency Advisories

Having trouble keeping up with all the Orders and Advisories? Bookmark this site: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/news/

Access to Hospice Workers

FSLA is hearing from the Florida Hospice Association that some Assisted Living Facilities are prohibiting Hospice workers from entering the ALF based on the Visitor Restriction ( Emergency Management Order # 20-006 ). Hospice or palliative care workers caring for residents in end-of-life situations are among the exceptions outlined in the order with proper PPE.

Infection Control Survey Tool

CMS issued a new Memo (3/23/20) that reiterates their Survey Prioritization (to the following survey types for three weeks which began on 3/13:

  • Complaint/facility-reported incident surveys: State survey agencies (SSAs) will conduct surveys related to complaints and facility-reported incidents (FRIs) that are triaged at the Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) level. A streamlined Infection Control review tool* will also be utilized during these surveys, regardless of the Immediate Jeopardy allegation.

  • Targeted Infection Control Surveys: Federal CMS and State surveyors will conduct targeted Infection Control surveys of providers identified through collaboration with CDC and HHS. They will use a streamlined review checklist* to minimize the impact on provider activities, while ensuring providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Self-assessments: The Infection Control Streamlined Review Checklist* referenced above will also be shared with all providers and suppliers to allow for voluntary self-assessment of their Infection Control plan and protections.

* There are 2 Focused Infection Control Survey Tools that are appended to the end of the 3/23/20 CMS Memo; these are the Infection Control Streamlined Review Checklist. Neither are specified for ALFs but are likely to be used by the Agency for Health Care Administration if they are conducting an Infection Control review of an ALF.




FDOH COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard

Access the most authoritative COVID-19 County Data

As of today, Florida is reporting more than 2,300 number of confirmed cases;
  • 22,000 tested so far with an estimated 8% positive rate
  • 295 cases increased from Wednesday
  • 23 deaths
  • 1044 cases in Broward and Miami-Dade County
  • 123 cases in Hillsborough County

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Retirement Communities and Independent Living Facilities (Interim Guidance)

On recent conference calls, AHCA and DOH have been referring to the CDC's Guidance to Residential Facilities regarding communal dining and activities. FSLA tracked down the Interim Guidance here.

Florida Community Mitigation (CDC)


Independent Living Communities

According to AHCA and DOH, all communal activities in Independent Living should cease immediately. This includes discontinuing communal dining and postponing all community events until further notice. Read more about the Independent Living restrictions on the Agency’s COVID-19 site 
Homemade Face Masks    

In the past couple of days, we heard that the CDC had published guidance on how to make Personal Protective Equipment; that does not appear to be accurate. This is what the CDC has on their website about homemade PPE:
“HCP use of homemade masks:

  • In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.”

The SEOC posted an academic paper about different fabrics to use when making face masks.

*Melinda Skirvin, Divisional Vice President, Five Star Senior Living shared the face mask photo -- Homemade Masks Made for her communities by her sisters.

Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of
Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”-- Donald Trump, President

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Memorandum.
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