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.
September 18, 2020
Abbott Conducting Webinar Today at 12 p.m. EDT

Register Now for a webinar conducted by Abbott today at noon for assisted living communities receiving Abbott BinaxNOW tests from HHS.

The webinar, hosted by HHS in partnership with Abbott, will be taking place on Friday, September 18 from 12-1pm ET. We anticipate that the webinar will introduce the product and cover its use in assisted living communities.

Abbott will share the training tools available and representatives from HHS will be available to speak about the program. The webinar will be recorded and available for review. We also recommend reviewing the Abbott BinaxNOW training portal, as well.

During the webinar, Abbott will demonstrate the training tools available, and representatives from the U.S. government will be online to speak about the program.  

Argentum is compiling a number of questions for HHS to seek clarification on issues relating to the frequency of administering these tests, CLIA waivers, storage, etc. If you have questions, be sure to submit them here and we’ll include with our inquiry.
Assisted Living Communities with CLIA Waivers
Receiving Rapid Antigen Tests from Abbott Labs

HHS shared that the federal government intends to prioritize Assisted Living in the distribution of point-of-care COVID-19 antigen tests from Abbott Laboratories, cleared for emergency use by the FDA last week.

540,000 test kits will be sent to assisted living communities, with all of the kits being certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver.  

To receive these tests, ALFs must have a CLIA waiver certificate. Apply for a CLIA waiver by clicking here and scrolling down to the middle of the page to read the application instructions and download a copy of the application.

PLEASE NOTE: Communities are receiving order confirmations from Abbott for tests. These are not invoices -- the testing supplies are provided by HHS and the community is not responsble for paying for the tests.
Please Participate in the Short Visitation Survey

How many visitors are making appointments and visiting residents in your communities? Please take a minute to respond to the four questions below so we can get a better idea of the numbers of visitors entering your communities.

Please take a minute to answer the following four questions by CLICKING HERE.
AHCA Getting Involved with Visitation Complaints

FSLA has been working with caregiver Mary Daniel and the other associations on solving problems and complaints that have been posted to the Caregivers for Compromise Facebook page.

We are excited that many ALF communities have been working diligently to complete their policies and procedures and are now offering various types of visitation, choosing essential caregivers, compassionate visitors and providing general visitation.

Unfortunately, and according to the Caregivers for Compromise Facebook page, Mary is now asking family members to contact AHCA and to file a complaint if families are not being designated as essential caregivers. Please see Mary's comments below:

"If you are not being allowed in under the Essential Caregiver designation or if you are being restricted by rules that are not allowed for an EC, PLEASE FILE A COMPLAINT WITH AHCA.
If you have previously filed a complaint and nothing has changed, PLEASE FILE A FOLLOW-UP COMPLAINT WITH AHCA.

You may file a complaint with the Agency by calling their toll-free Complaint & Information Call Center at 1-888-419-3456 or by competing their online complaint form at
Educate yourself, especially with the AHCA document from 9/9 that can be found at this link, so you can specifically tell AHCA the violation(s) that need correction. If you want a follow-up call to discuss the findings of their call and/or visit you must provide your name and contact information with the complaint.

AHCA will call the facility right away and try to educate them during that phone call and hopefully solve the problem immediately. If the facility fails to comply, AHCA will visit the facility and issue a citation with fines if they refuse to be compliant.
I am extremely confident that AHCA wants to help us so I strongly encourage you to file a formal complaint TODAY! If you are reluctant or fearful to file a complaint, I want to remind you that YOU are your loved one's advocate. Even AHCA believes the facilities have had plenty of time to comply. It's time to step up and say we've had enough! If not now, when?
We are continuing to work with the facility professional associations to get their help in calling facilities and we are staying in touch with our media friends so they can follow our progress too. We're almost there so please keep fighting, do not give up! Together, we can do this!"
Coronavirus Commission Releases Report on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

Even though this Safety and Quality Report was written specifically for nursing homes, it contains many good recommendations that can be used in the assisted living setting. Get ready, the 186-page report contains 27 principal recommendations and more than 100 accompanying action steps organized into 10 themes: Testing and Screening; Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Cohorting; Visitation; Communication; Workforce Ecosystem—Stopgaps for Resident Safety; Workforce Ecosystem—Strategic Reinforcement; Technical Assistance and Quality Improvement; Facilities; and Nursing Home Data.

The final report details the commission’s assessment of the nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccines: They Are Worth a Shot . . . (lol!)

Article shared by the Southern Group
The administration announced their plan for distributing the highly anticipated medication. The CDC fully expects the initial approval of the vaccine will be via an emergency use authorization before a full formal approval is granted by the FDA. The plan calls for distribution of the vaccine to centers across the country within 24 hours of approval, but the first shipments will be small.

Target populations, like health care workers, will be vaccinated first. Planners warn approvals for vaccinating pregnant women and children will come later. The vaccine will be free for all Americans. States were asked to submit their plans for distribution by October 16. Understanding initial supply will be limited, administration officials emphasize most citizens will receive the vaccine sometime in 2021.

In the meantime, health officials are stressing the importance of getting your flu shot this year so as not to overwhelm hospital systems at peak season with two ailments that have very similar symptoms. But before you run to CVS know that the optimal time to receive the flu shot is mid-to-late October to maintain immunity through March/April.