Coronavirus Update #223
HFAM Update, Vaccine Reminders, N95 Mask Fit Training
HFAM Update


Here are three important articles or news pieces on the vaccine:

  • My interview with WYPR last Friday. In this interview I discussed the challenges of getting the vaccine to our workforce, and the likelihood that vaccine distribution would be expanded.

  • The NBC news piece today on CDC recommendations.  This article articulates the CDC policy recommendation that states get the vaccine out to anyone over age 65. Note: The target age of 65+ reaches a more diverse and at-risk group than targeting 75+.

Behind the scenes we have been working with AHCA/NCAL, LifeSpan, and LeadingAge Maryland on helping to get the vaccine to independent living and assisted living campuses, which was accelerated this past weekend when Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) added the 1B group to the current rollout. As we updated yesterday, there will also be bumps with vaccine distribution to the much larger IL and AL group. We are actively working to help CVS with contact information for 640 IL/AL/HUD locations in Maryland. 

Although the vaccination of skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers is smaller and is improving, there are still challenges. As Governor Hogan said, “Distributing and administering vaccines throughout 2021 will be, without question, the greatest peacetime undertaking in American history. And it will be a massive all-hands-on deck ongoing operation involving the federal, state, and local governments, and the private sector.” Thankfully, most skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers are getting ready to welcome CVS/Walgreens for their second vaccination clinics.

The Vaccine Landscape:

  • The current vaccine landscape: In the coming days and with the change of administration in DC, vaccine distribution will become broader.

  • The future landscape:  Commercial (Remedi and Omnicare) access to vaccine distribution and retail/government consumer vaccine distribution will increase. 

  • The challenge: With more vaccines available to more people, it will be increasingly difficult for your care teams to get vaccinated.

  • Action Required: Double your efforts to encourage staff to get vaccinated. I know this is complicated, but now is the time to explain that they may have serious difficulty getting the vaccine in the near future.

As Always:

  • People first, quality counts.
  • Be prepared to deploy people and PPE around your organization.
  • Our sector MUST double our efforts on infectious disease protocol, staffing, PPE, observation, and testing.
  • Train, train, and train teams again on infectious disease protocol.
  • Recognize that COVID-19 fatigue is an issue across the county, not just in our sector.
  • Overcommunicate with residents, patients, families, staff, and government partners.
  • Sound alarms early.
  • Know that WE WILL get through this and that you are saving lives!
  • Work with your hospital partners, and coordinate with local and state regulatory partners.
  • Take and document your action; keep a timeline.
  • CLICK HERE for the Dr. Katz Video, and please see the Donning and Doffing Checklist we first distributed several months ago.

Finally, please stay positive and tests negative! We are undertaking all of this vaccination work while we continue to fight a surge of COVID-19 in the community, and in all healthcare settings. The great news is that cases are being minimized and deaths have been dramatically reduced. 

Be well,
Joe DeMattos
President and CEO
Why Stella Maris Employees Are Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Check out the below video from HFAM member Stella Maris on why their employees are getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you want to share your COVID-19 vaccination success stories, please let us know!
AHCA/NCAL #GetVaccinated Toolkit

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has launched a campaign to encourage long term care residents and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
To view all the materials please visit
N95 Mask Fit Testing: Train-the-Trainer

It is required that a fit test of N95 Masks be performed to ensure proper fit to the individual wearing the mask. The test is performed on a healthcare worker using a specific model, style, and size of N95. If using different types, styles, and sizes, the individual must be properly fit tested for each different mask.

This session is a train-the-trainer format so that your center will have individuals on staff trained in performing the fit test on other staff members. We ask they you limit your number of attendees for this training to four people per center. Please register your center for one day and time. We do not need to know the name of the individuals.

You are required to bring with you the N95s, you use at your Center, that you have a good supply of and will be able to replenish that supply. Every model and style of N95 is different and will require fit testing before use.

It is recommended that you bring your Center's Fit Test Kit. If you do not currently have one, please order today from your vendor. Safety and infection control procedures will be in place at the training.  Please adhere to all infection control procedures before attending the training session.

January 18 and January 25, 2021
Merritt Training Room
8830 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD 21045

Please register for one day and time slot only.

If you have any questions, please call or email Patty DeGrasse 410-353-9800 (cell) or
Did you miss HFAM's previous alerts?

Visit our website to view all previous HFAM alerts, as well as guidance
from our federal and state partners.
Thank you.

We cannot thank you enough for the dedication and diligence in doing all that you can for the residents in your communities. HFAM continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic with our state and national partners and will do all we can to support you during this time.