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.
Hospital Transfers and Isolating in Place

During the COVID-19 crisis, Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, and Hospitals are working together to manage safe transitions of care that leverage the strengths of each setting. It’s more critical than ever that these health care provider types understand admission and discharge criteria as well as the capabilities of each.

As Assisted Living Facilities get access to testing, they may find that residents who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic test positive for COVID-19. Despite testing positive, if the resident’s condition does not require hospital level of care, the hospital will likely not admit the resident until and if signs and symptoms do appear. 

Depending on the resident’s clinical history and current status, the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic resident may need to be isolated and cared for to the extent possible based on the ALF’s capabilities.

For ALFs that do not have nursing staff, consider the CDC guidance for self-care at home.

For ALFs that do have nursing staff, consider the CDC guidance for Clinical Management:

Agency for Health Care Administration
Offers Flexibility to Assist with Long-term Care
Provider Staffing Shortages by Putting Floridians
Back to Work

“An essential mission of the Agency for Health Care Administration is to provide critical support to the health care facilities and staff on the front lines of this emergency,” said AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew. “COVID-19 disproportionately impacts Florida’s most vulnerable populations and providing key staffing flexibility will ensure residents receive the highest quality care possible. We remain focused on protecting and safeguarding our state’s elderly and those with severe underlying health conditions while putting Floridians back to work fulfilling necessary health care roles at facilities.”

The Personal Care Attendant Program provides an 8-hour training of required skills to assist in direct care which is then supported with continued on-the-job training supervised by nursing staff. AHCA encourages facilities to provide additional educational training so personal care attendants who wish to seek a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant can obtain needed competency to do so. Additionally, AHCA recently granted providers the ability to more quickly hire necessary additional staff through Emergency Order AHCA No. 20-001.

Job listings will be available on the Florida Health Care Association’s job board or directly from nursing homes across the state. 

EMS Needs Assessment Visits

Yesterday’s FSLA COVID-19 Update referenced that the Department of Health is contracting with local Emergency Management Service Departments to extend their reach in determining gaps in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We heard from members this week that EMS crews conducting Needs Assessment visits are giving directives that conflict with the Department of Health and the State Surgeon General. Specific conflicting guidance was reported related to the residents ability to leave their rooms and staff utilization of N95 masks. Part of the conflicting guidance occurred because local EMS crews were using the Broward County directives and applying them across the state.

The Emergency Medical Services Administrator with the Florida Department of Health shared a document with FSLA today that has been sent to the EMS Crews to be used for all their Needs Assessment visits with nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The DOH Assessment of Long-Term Care Facility Guidance is to be used to ask questions of the facility; and the EMS Administrator noted that a question does not imply a mandate. It is also understood that standards for response differ and are more stringent when there is widespread community outbreak or when COVID-19 has been detected within a facility.

Concerns or questions about a DOH/EMS visit may be directed to: (813)912-1312 or email

AHCA’s ESS: Updated ESS Info for Nursing Home and Assisted Living Providers

Pursuant to Governor Ron Desantis’ Executive Order 20-51 and at the direction of State Surgeon General Rivkees, regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Agency for Health Care Administration has opened the event “COVID-19 Monitoring” in the Emergency Status System to monitor nursing home and assisted living facility census, inventory, needs, and other related information statewide. 
All nursing homes and assisted living facilities
  • Ensure the “Facility Contacts” section is up-to-date. 
  • Please report Current Resident Census and available beds in your facility daily by 10 AM ET until further notice.
  • A new event tab labeled “Add’l Info” should be updated now and then daily by 10 AM ET until further notice.
  • Questions on this screen may vary so be sure to read carefully each time you go to enter info.
  • As of April 1, 2020, there are 14 questions.
  • You may view previous responses by using the “History” table at the bottom of this screen.
  • All needs requests should be submitted to your local Emergency Operations Center.
  • For reporting purposes, update the “Resource Needs” event tab in ESS as well.
  • Include the mission number(s) assigned by your local Emergency Operations Center.
If needed, click this link t o 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).
If you require additional assistance with ESS, please contact your AHCA licensing unit during normal business hours:

Long Term Care Services Unit, at 850-412-4303
Assisted Living Unit, at 850-412-4304

Title: Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility (CDC)

Florida's Numbers as of 4-2-20

80,356 tests
71,348 negative results
9.008 positive results
144 deaths
1,167 hospitalized
64 counties out of 67 reporting positive cases

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