Please keep reading our information because it changes 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.
COVID-19 UPDATE 28
Additional Information on Emergency Rule re: Access and Testing

On May 10, the Agency for Health Care Administration issued Emergency Rule 59AER20-2 related to access and testing associated with Department of Health representatives. Based on questions we have received from our members, we wanted to provide the following information:

The Emergency Rule requires assisted living facilities to

  1. Allow the DOH or its authorized agents entry into the facility for the purpose of conducting COVID-19 infection control duties as well as testing of residents and staff;
  2. Shall comply with all DOH infection control directives concerning staff and resident testing; and that
  3. When the DOH or its authorized agent enters the facility in its public health function for purposes of COVID-19 testing, assisted living facilities shall require facility staff to submit to a COVID-19 test. 

While neither AHCA nor DOH has issued any clarifications or guidelines for interpreting this rule at this point, it is clear from the text of the rule as published that facilities must admit the DOH or its authorized agent and comply with any testing directives, including mandatory staff testing if directed to do so by DOH as part of its infection prevention and control activities.

At this point, facilities may still make their own decisions about offers of voluntary testing and may still reach out to their local health departments to request assistance with testing if necessary. While we don't currently have confirmation on how testing decisions are being made, it is likely occurring on a county-by-county basis based on DOH's epidemiological data collection system through the Department’s contact tracing efforts for positive COVID-19 cases.

New Fields added to the Emergency Status System

To support the Department of Health's expanded facility-based collection of samples for COVID-19 testing, the Agency for Health Care Administration today added several new questions to the Emergency Status System.

New Questions:
  • Total number of all employees (i.e. clinical, housekeeping, nutrition, maintenance, administration, and contract)
  • Number of employees tested for COVID-19 since April 11
  • Do you have your own arrangements to actively test current and new employees?
  • Can your clinical staff collect test specimens from employees within a 3-day period if all testing supplies are provided to the facility including laboratory and shipping materials?
  • If yes to above (you can collect your own specimens), how many remaining employees would you need to test?

Note that AHCA has not yet provided descriptive explanations for these data fields per the Additional Questions Descriptors described below.
Emergency Status System - Understanding Data Fields
As AHCA adds data fields to the Emergency Status System, its online database used to capture the emergency status of its licensed facilities, communities may have questions about the field titles and exactly what the Agency is expecting to be reported in the fields.

AHCA's descriptive explanations are not embedded with the new fields; but rather, the Additional Questions Descriptors are posted elsewhere on the Agency's site.

Direct ESS questions to FSLA staff at info@floridaseniorliving.org  or (850) 708-4971.


COVID-19 Facility Information (AHCA)  (scroll down to  ESS Resources )