March 20, 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.
Emergency Management and FDLE Discuss How to Curtail Visitors in Nursing Homes and ALFs

This morning during the state's Emergency Management meeting, Deputy Director Kevin Guthrie said that the EOC has been discussing how law enforcement could assist nursing homes and assisted living communities with managing visitors. Watch for more information.

Law Enforcement Curfew Letter

AHCA, along with the Department of Health (DOH), developed a Curfew Letter for staff who may be traveling to and from work during the local city or county curfew hours. Please distribute this letter and pass along to your staff.

Governor DeSantis Issues Executive Orders that May Affect Senior Living Communities

Executive Order 20-71: suspends the sale of alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption; however it allows vendors to continue to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption; suspends on-premises food consumption for customers for all restaurants and food establishments ; however, allows continued sales for delivery or take-out; and closes gyms and fitness centers ; however, it excludes specified hotels, residential buildings, etc.

Executive Order 20-70: closes on-premises services for restaurants, bars, etc., with seating for more than 10 people in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The order exempts grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. Please read the order for specific information.

ALF Missions Emergency Requisition Supply Order Form

The Emergency Management Office is tracking all supply orders and filling orders as the supplies become available. Please fill out the emergency requisition supply order form, provide your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply status and send the request by email to your local emergency management office to request supplies. Do not exclusively depend on this as your only resource for supplies -- please continue to seek alternative sources.

For supply requests from your local county emergency management offices, please fill out the Emergency Requisition Supply Order Form . It should be two pages. Note all fields must be completed indicated exhausted normal, routine routes. Also, they may receive a bill later for supplies provided through the County.

Just to clarify:

  • Any facility that requests PPE though the EOC, the Facility is responsible for all costs associated with the request.
  • There is no guarantee that the State EOC can find the commodities that are requested.
  • There is no guarantee the EOC can get it faster than your facility’s vendor.

Request for Surgical Masks May Speed Up Delivery

When requesting PPE through the County Emergency Management Office, be sure to understand the difference between the Surgical Masks and N-95 Respirators in order to expedite the request. 

Generally, ALFs that do not have a suspected or known case of COVID-19, do not need to request N-95 Respirator Masks. Instead, the clinical protocol is to use Surgical Face masks to protect residents from workers who might be asymptomatically infected. 

Background Screening for New Employees

AHCA is currently looking for options that will balance resident safety and workforce gaps while the digital fingerprint live scan companies are closed. AHCA plans to send out additional information later today or sometime over the weekend.

Follow-up to Agency’s Guidance to Implement
Universal Use of Face Masks in Residential /
Long-Term Care Facilities
We understand the concern about our Agency’s recent directive (Wednesday, March 18th) for staff in long term care settings to wear masks. The use of these masks is intended to prevent the spread of infection from staff to residents. Understanding that there is an extreme shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, the Agency will NOT penalize facilities that are unable to follow this directive due to supply shortages. Limited supplies should be prioritized for staff with direct resident contact and utilized per CDC guidelines .
The entire country is struggling with an extreme shortage of PPE, including masks. Please use your existing supply chain to order any needed masks and other PPE. The County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a resource to obtain necessary supplies in an emergency. Although counties do not have excess at this time, if you have not submitted a request already, you can submit a request to the County EOC which will help to inform statewide prioritization of supplies as they arrive in Florida.

CDC Guidance on When a HCP Can Return to Work 

Many members are asking when a staff person who is staying home because of fever or respiratory symptoms can return to work. CDC posted guidance from March 16, 2020 on criteria for return to work . Use one of the below strategies to determine when health care personnel (HCP) may return to work in health care settings: 

  • Non-test-based strategy. Exclude from work until: 
  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resultion of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and,
  • At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared

  • Test-based strategy, if tests are available. Exclude from work until: 
  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and 
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
  • Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens) 

If HCP were never tested for COVID-19 but have an alternate diagnosis (e.g., tested positive for influenza), criteria for return to work should be based on that diagnosis. 
Baker Donalson Offers Free Webinar to Answer Your Questions @ What Does the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" Mean for Employers?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting businesses across industries, sizes and locations. There are numerous developments in federal, state and local leave laws impacting employers.

On Wednesday, the federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), creating paid family and sick leave benefits for eligible employees who require leave due to covered needs relating to COVID-19.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

This webinar will explain the provisions of the Act that address this leave: the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. We will also answer frequently asked questions about the application of this new legislation and invite you submit your questions in advance of the webinar.

The discussion and Q&A will be based on our current knowledge of the Act. This is subject to change or revision as the federal government issues expected regulations that will provide additional detail and guidance.


Senior Living/LTC

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