COVID-19 Update #259
CMS and HHS Campaigns and Initiatives
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources: What Partners Need to Know Now

As COVID-19 vaccines continue rolling out across the country, CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers.

With information coming from many different sources, CMS has up-to-date resources and materials to help you share important and relevant information on the COVID-19 vaccine with the people that you serve. You can find these and more resources on the COVID-19 Partner Resources Page and the HHS COVID Education Campaign page.

For more information, visit the CMS COVID-19 Policies and Guidance page.

Use the NEW COVID-19 Community Corps Social Media Toolkit to spread the word about expanded eligibility.
HHS just launched a COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, We Can Do This, which is a national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.

Campaign resources and toolkits are available to reach diverse communities.

NEW toolkits are now available for different populations including:

These toolkits include helpful resources such as fact sheets, videos, posters, print ads and social media. For more information, go to the Campaign Resources and Toolkits page, and search the available resources by audience, format and language to find what you need for the people that you serve.

Share VaccineFinder: Call, text, or forward this link to people you know who are having trouble finding a vaccine in their area. Vaccination is the best tool to defeat this pandemic – access shouldn’t be a barrier.


The Maryland Department of Health has developed an Assisted Living Facility Covid Vaccination Maintenance Plan and process map. We hope that you find these documents helpful as you continue your work in keeping your staff and residents safe and healthy. If you need assistance in finding a local pharmacy to partner with, please call 1-855-MD-GOVAX. 

These documents were sent to all Assisted Living Centers on Friday, April 23. Watch your mail for these important documents.
Other COVID-19 Updates

Expectations for PPE Usage: The CDC outlines expectations for personal protective equipment (PPE) use in their interim infection prevention and control recommendations to prevent COVID-19 spread in nursing homes. Read More 

HHS Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Last week, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra extended the ongoing COVID-19 PHE for an additional 90 days, effective April 21, 2021, which was the date that the current PHE was set to expire. Read More
What They Are Saying: COVID-19 Vaccines Are A Turning Point For Long Term Care Residents And Staff, But The Fight Is Not Over 

Families across the nation continue to reunite with their loved ones in long term care facilities, as vaccinations have led to a dramatic decline in new COVID cases and deaths. Updated government guidelines now allow for increased indoor visitation in long term care facilities, bringing residents together face-to-face with their family, friends and fellow residents for the first time in more than a year.

With these joyous reunions bringing a sense of hope to residents and staff, the pandemic is not over yet. Some parts of the country are again facing a rising rate of positive COVID cases, raising concerns that long term care may see a correlating uptick. Throughout the pandemic, independent research has shown that community spread is a primary factor in the likelihood of an outbreak in a nursing home. Everyone must do their part to reduce community spread in order to protect our seniors and caregivers.

Along with containing community spread, we must continue to encourage vaccinations among residents, staff and the general public. Two new studies released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing serious illness and death due to the virus among nursing home residents, underscoring the importance of everyone getting vaccinated. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) continues to promote vaccine education and uptake through their national #GetVaccinated campaign.

As access to the vaccines expands to more Americans, we cannot forget our most vulnerable and health care heroes. The federal government and states must continue to prioritize long term care residents and staff for the vaccines, especially with the ongoing pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Long term care providers also need other critical resources to keep up the fight against the virus, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and staff support. By rallying together, we can ensure we maintain our progress and bring an end to the pandemic once and for all.

Watch AHCA/NCAL’s video highlighting the heartfelt reunions between long term care residents and their loved ones.
The 2021 HFAM Conference “Together We Re-Imagine” will be held in person October 4 – 7, 2021 at the Maryland Live Hotel and Casino in Hanover, Maryland. Hundreds of long-term care leaders will connect, share best practices and discuss actionable insights on how we can reflect, reform, rebuild, and revolutionize quality care. You and your teams will not want to miss this opportunity as we come together again.

Visit the conference website to learn more and register.
Thank you to our current sponsors!
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