COVID-19 Update #287
HFAM Update

Thank you and your teams for remaining focused on our fight against COVID-19 and providing quality care to Marylanders in need. Single case outbreaks in our setting remain very low, but they have been slowly increasing. The nation and the world are concerned about the Delta variant and its impact on those who are unvaccinated. Some ninety-nine percent of the Delta infections are among individuals who are not vaccinated. In addition, I am hearing from lab partners about so-called breakthrough cases— people who are vaccinated and still getting COVID-19. We all need to stay ahead of the curve if increased testing, or perhaps antigen testing, become more clinically relevant or ordered. Together, we must remain vigilant.
Additionally, there are reports out of a Washington, DC skilled nursing and rehabilitation center and two Dallas, Texas hospitals about a medication-resistant “super” fungus. This fungus can be transmitted from surfaces and from person-to-person. Yet again, infectious disease protocols remain imminently important.
As Always:
  • Focus on what is in your control and not what is out of your control.
  • Overcommunicate.
  • Adapt and innovate.
  • Rely on your partnerships.
  • Speak up when you need help.
  • Double efforts on infectious disease protocols, training, and operations.
  • Take and document your action; keep a timeline.
  • CLICK HERE for the Dr. Katz Video, and please see the Donning and Doffing Checklist we have been sharing
Joe DeMattos
President and CEO
SNF After-Action Report

The Berkeley Group has been retained by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to produce an accurate, short, yet detailed COVID-19 pandemic after-action report. Skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers must lend our learnings, insights, expertise, frustrations, and recommendations to this report; Maryland hospitals will be doing the same. HFAM and other sector leaders are assisting in outreach to providers to collect information needed to compile this report.

Each skilled nursing and rehabilitation center is asked to complete this questionnaire to document activities during the pandemic, identify areas of opportunity, and make recommendations regarding actions the State can take to prepare for a future event. Completing this questionnaire may require centers to reach out to relevant stakeholders and team members to ensure thorough responses.  Frankly, let us provide feedback from assisted living campuses as well, which is also critical.

Please complete the questionnaire by Friday, July 30. Once complete, email it to Patrick Dooley at and copy Hope Morris at
Board of Nursing Renewals

As we have shared many times, Governor Hogan extended the medical licensure renewal deadline to August 15, 2021. This deadline is now quickly approaching. It is critical that your teams file as soon as possible for licensure renewal.  

On this front, HFAM has been working with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) to assist with these licensure renewals. We have collected center specific information from 21 centers on how many individuals need renewal. With this information, MDH/MBON will be able to assist with potential issues and communicate more effectively. If you have not yet shared this information with us, please fill out this spreadsheet as soon as possible and return to If you have this information in another format (such a word document, PDF, different excel sheet, etc.), you can send that instead.

Temporary Nursing Assistants

The Maryland Board of Nursing plans to honor the federal state of emergency and CMS waiver allowing emergency temporary nursing assistants to practice in Maryland for up to 120 days after the federal emergency ends So, if the federal emergency and the CMS waiver were to end on 12/31/2021, emergency GNAs could practice 120 days into 2022.
All of this said, as HFAM has been updating over the last several weeks, we encourage individuals in your center who have been working as temporary nursing assistants to enroll ASAP in a permanent full training program and pass the GNA certification exam to remain on the job long-term.  We HIGHLY recommend such enrollment now. Many of our members have directly or contract with such programs, and our Maryland Community Colleges are a tremendous resource. Email Patty DeGrasse on our team if you need guidance on GNA training programs.
Project Firstline

We are partnering with the Maryland Department of Health and Health Quality Innovators (HQI) to let you know about a new free infection prevention learning initiative from the CDC called Project Firstline. Project Firstline aims to spread infection control learning opportunities to front line workers in the healthcare field, even those without a clinical background.
Project Firstline’s CDC-developed training and engagement opportunities include short, accessible training videos, virtual interactive events, and telementoring to ensure every worker in every healthcare setting is empowered with the science and reasoning behind essential infection control practices, and can confidently apply those practices to protect themselves, their facility, their family, and their community.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Lynne Layug ( at HQI.
Personal Protective Equipment Distribution

In response to the COVID pandemic, the State of Maryland Department of Health acquired and distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care providers. At this time they still have large quantities of PPE available. The three Associations in Maryland have been asked to assist in distributing this remaining PPE stock. Over the next few weeks, the remaining PPE will be delivered to the LifeSpan office in Columbia, and will be available for pickup by those placing an order. Because of the quantities available, space needed, and staffing limitations we will be receiving and distributing this PPE in phases.

The first shipment will include: Gloves (Small, Medium, and Large); gowns; N95 and KN95 masks; face shields; and goggles.

We are working on logistics of this major undertaking and will keep you informed about availability and pick-up dates and time. Please understand that we may not be able to fulfill every request with our first shipment, but will work to fulfill requests in future shipments.
If you have already sent an email to Patty DeGrasse at HFAM with your supply order request, you do not need to send another email. Anyone wishing to place an order may do so by emailing with needed items, quantity, and contact information for the individual who will be picking up the supply for your center.

As soon as our shipment is received and pick-up dates scheduled, you will receive an email confirming your order and instructions for pickup at the LifeSpan office in Columbia. 
Upcoming Live Webinar!
Winning Keys: Outreach, Marketing, & Engagement
July 27, 2021 from 11:30 - 1:00 PM
The cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed the reputation of nursing homes, as sales and marketing professionals, we need to know how to work together towards a successful future. This presentation will break down the problems currently facing the industry, and how to navigate them to arrive at a solid solution. Presenters will explain the ‘New Normal’ post-COVID-19 and ways to meet the needs of your referral sources, clients, and their families during this time. It is through outreach and engagement that marketing and outreach teams can return trust to your business.

Agenda Topics:
The New Normal
Business Development in New Economy
Business Development Training
Tools to Support You

Joseph DeMattos, HFAM
Diane Devaney, Devaney & Associates
John Dinkel, Dinkel Business Development, LLC

CE: 1.5 NAB credit for LNHAs
Cost: $55 Per Registrant

Can't make the live session?
Register and receive access to the recording.
No CEs offered for the recording.
Nursing Home Media Toolkit

Check out the new Nursing Home Media Toolkit from the Maryland Department of Health. The password to access the materials is Vaccine2021.

Please use the materials in this media toolkit to spread the word about vaccination with staff.

You'll find flyers, ads, social media posts, videos, and posters. 
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!
Plus, Visit our Sponsors and Supporters in the
Brand New "Solutions Lounge"
Did you miss an update?

Visit our website to view all previous HFAM alerts, as well as guidance
from our federal and state partners.
Health Facilities Association of Maryland WW.HFAM.ORG