Coronavirus Update #9
Three Confirmed Travel-Related Cases in Maryland
Yesterday Governor Larry Hogan announced Maryland’s first three confirmed positive travel-related cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County and declared a state of emergency to accelerate the state’s coordinated response. All three positive cases were contracted while traveling on an international cruise and the patients currently remain in good condition while quarantined in their homes. 

Along with our national partner, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (ACHA/NCAL), HFAM has been collaborating with federal and state agencies as well as hospital partners to discuss best practices, provide operational support, and communicate information.
The #1 action you and your teams can do right now is keep all people with cold/flu symptoms out of your centers.

Employees simply cannot come in to work if they are symptomatic.

Please continue to post signs, send emails, and communicate with residents, families, staff, vendors.
Other things you and your teams should continue to do:

  • Be prepared to over-communicate with staff, residents, patients, and families.

  • Inventory supplies and medication - especially infectious control gear.

  • Review your policies and training.

  • Closely monitor the health of your patients, residents, and staff.

  • Establish lines of communication with your hospital partners, local and state health officials.

General Background and Information

Prudent providers across all healthcare settings continue to review state guidance and operational plans for infection control and best practices for care, food, power, medication and additional needs of residents and staff. As the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) further develops, we can expect additional federal and state guidance.

COVID-19 spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with one another via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with the coronavirus, but it is not thought to be the main way that the virus spreads.

As with the flu, older people and those with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes seem to be at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Across all settings, older people, those with underlying conditions, and their families should remain vigilant in following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing and hand wishing.  

The symptoms of COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Visitors, staff members, volunteers, and vendors who are experiencing these symptoms should not go to skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living campuses, or hospitals.
CMS Guidance

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued three new Quality, Safety and Oversight memos about COVID-19. Two apply to nursing homes and a third to hospitals that are listed below.

We strongly recommend facilities review these new guidance and also continue to keep up to date with CDC guidance on CVID-19 at  for health professionals and facilities as they continue to update guidance on testing and management of residents with suspected and COVID+ test results. 
AHCA/NCAL Resources

AHCA/NCAL recently hosted a COVID-19 webinar for all long term care providers. The webinar included an update from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials and AHCA/NCAL staff. You and your team can view the webinar  HERE .

A list of additional resources compiled by AHCA/NCAL can be found on their website HERE .
HFAM continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation with our state and national partners and will keep members informed. Additional information for healthcare professionals can be found on the  CDC  and on the   MDH   websites.