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 44
August 19, 2020
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities Task Force on Visitation

Last Friday, the Florida Senior Living Association participated in the first of four meetings of the “Governor’s Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities”. AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew facilitated the meeting and presentations were provided by:

  • Surgeon General Scott Rivkees
  • AHCA Deputy Secretary Molly McKinstry
  • FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed

During the meeting, FSLA commented that any guidelines developed should be voluntary, not mandatory and suggested that residents could get involved in the process of choosing their essential caregivers. FSLA also said that outside visitation could be put into place “immediately.” Secretary Mary Mayhew agreed and said the virus is less transmissible outdoors than indoors, so outside visitation is one component that could complement the broader effort.

The second Task Force meeting was held on Tuesday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m. and opened with a video produced by Mary Daniel. Discussions continued designating an Essential Caregiver and a Compassionate Caregiver and outside visitation. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 19 at 3:00 p.m.


  • CLICK HERE to read a complete summary of the first meeting. 
  • CLICK HERE to read a complete summary of the second meeting.
  • CLICK HERE to download copies of the meeting agendas and handout materials.
  • CLICK HERE to watch the first meeting.
  • CLICK HERE to watch the second meeting.

One of the issues that has been discussed is designating an Essential Caregiver that could visit and provide ongoing services to family members. This designation would allow one to two family members to visit on a regular basis and provide the same type of regular services that they performed before the COVID pandemic. Several states have initatied this program, including Minnesota and Indiana.
 
Designating an Essential Caregiver would expand DEM AHCA’s Emergency Order (DEM Emergency Order 20-006), dated March 15, and AHCA Guidance that already exists and specifics that family members can visit under the following circumstances:
 
  • Family members, friends, and visiting residents in end-of-life situations
  • Hospice or palliative care workers caring for residents in end-of-life situations
  • Any individuals providing necessary health care to a resident
  • Attorneys of Record for a resident in an Adult Mental Health and Treatment Facility for court related matters if virtual or telephonic means are unavailable; or
  • Representatives of the federal or state government seeking entry as part of their official duties, including, but not limited to, Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, representatives of the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a protection and advocacy organization under 42 U.S.C. 515041, the Office of the Attorney General, any law enforcement officer, and any emergency medical personnel.
NEW -- AHCA Publishes Facility Response Form for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in LTC Facilities

As discussed on several recent Thursday AHCA provider calls, the Agency has developed a form to be used by communities for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Over time, since March 2020, AHCA has continued to make updates to this form. Most recently added the information about staff testing, and questions surveyors will ask about testing. CLICK HERE to download the new form.  

NEW -- Hospital Discharge Requirement Form Updated (8/12/20)

CLICK HERE to download the new hospital discharge transfer form provided by the Florida Hospital Association. This form replaces the form that was issued on August 10, 2020.
DOH Update (8/12): Important Updates for Health Care Providers for COVID-19 

Florida's Department of Health issued an important update for health care providers dated August 12, 2020. The update includes the following:

  • Governor Extends State of Emergency -- Executive Order 20-166
  • Surgeon General Issues Public Health Advisory
  • Florida Invited to Participate in Federal CDC Vaccine Pilot Group
  • AHCA Emergency Rule -- Emergency Rule 59AER20-8
  • Criteria for Return to Work for Health Care Personnel with SARS-CoV2 Infection
  • Duration of Isolation and Quarantine for Persons with COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma
  • AHCA Complaint Process
  • Heath Care Practitioner COVID-19 Resources
  • DOH Weekly Dashboard Update
  • Weekly Health Care Provider Telephone Conference Call Information
CDC Guidelines (8/16): Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19

At this time, we do not know if someone can be re-infected with COVID-19. There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected. from a second infection but we have heard that there is only a three month immunity from the virus.

Data to date shows that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.

There are no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within 3 months of initial infection. However, additional research is ongoing. Therefore, if a person who has recovered from COVID-19 has new symptoms of COVID-19, the person may need an evaluation for reinfection, especially if the person has had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. The person should isolate and contact a health care provider to be evaluated for other causes of their symptoms, and possibly retested.

Until we know more, CDC recommends that all people, whether or not they have had COVID-19, continue to take safety measures to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19 (wash hands regularly, stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible, and wear masks).

CDC Guidelines (8/10): Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions & Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Health Care Settings

Below is a summary of recent changes as of August 10, 2020:

  • For patients with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised1, the recommended duration for Transmission-Based Precautions was changed to at least 10 days and up to 20 days after symptom onset.
  • Recommendation to consider consultation with infection control experts.
  • Added example applying disease severity in determining duration of isolation using Transmission-Based Precautions.
  • Added hematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplant to severely immunocompromised conditions.

CDC Guidelines (8/10): Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-VoV-2 Infection (Interim Guidance)

Below is a summary of recent changes as of August 10, 2020:

  • For HCP with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised1, the recommended duration for work exclusion was changed to at least 10 days and up to 20 days after symptom onset.
  • Recommendation to consider consultation with infection control experts.
  • Added example applying disease severity in determining duration before return to work.
  • Added hematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplant to severely immunocompromised conditions.
Emergency Rule (8/6): 59AER20-9 Mandatory Entry and Testing for Assisted Living Facilities

AHCA extended 59AER20-2, which requires assisted living facilities to grant access to the Florida Department of Health or their authorized representative for the purpose infection prevention and control, including mandated COVID-19 testing of both on-duty and off-duty staff when arranged by the Department.
 
Mark Your Calendar for the AHCA Weekly Provider/Health & Regulatory Partner
Conference Call

Thursday, August 20, at 4:15 p.m. EST
Dial 1-866-951-1151 and enter Room Number 8484844#
*Please note there are limited lines available for this call.

As a reminder, all calls are recorded and posted to the FHCA website here.  
 JOIN US
TGI-FSLA: Fridays with Jason Hand
Coffee and Conversations
 
Fridays, from 8:30-8:50 EDT
 
Join us every Friday morning for a virtual cup of coffee and some candid interactive conversations about the issues facing senior living in Florida. These 20-minute sessions will be an informative look behind the curtain at how policy and rules are made and how to interpret this process effectively. Sign into Zoom so we can interact with you face-to-face and don't forget to bring your comments and questions.
 
Register Now to Participate
Participants in these Friday conversations will be able to purchase continuing education credits. One unit (1 hr) can be awarded for every three (3) meetings attended. Attendance will be verified by the virtual meeting platform. Sign up today and join us!*
 
*Please note: Participating in this meeting will require you to have a Zoom account. Zoom accounts are free and can be set up quickly. Click here for more info.
DATES AND TOPICS
Fridays, from 8:30-8:50 EDT
 
  • 8/21 - HB 767 Assisting Residents – appointments, bandages and patches
  • 8/28 - HB 767 Inspection surveys rule removal – what it means
  • 9/4 - HB 767 Emergency Management Plan – and FSLA Hurricane Workgroup Update
  • 9/18 - HB 607 Direct care workers (monthly report)
  • 9/25 - HB 731 Agency For Health Care Administration
  • 10/2 - SB 664 Verification of Employment Eligibility
  • 10/9 - SB 400 Elder Abuse Facility Review Teams
  • 10/16 - 2020 Tort Bills That Died: HB 6029 – Punitive Damages; HB 9 – Damages; etc.
  • 10/23 - 2020 Other Bills That Died
  • 10/30 - Looking Ahead to the 2021 Legislative Session: Tort Reform; Covid-19 Package; ALF-centric issues; and other issues of interest to ALFs
  • 11/6 - Election Wrap-up
 
Sign up now and join us tomorrow morning!