COVID-19 UPDATE #147
March 19, 2021
DSHS MODIFIES LTC SAFE START PLANS ON FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2021
DSHS modified the LTC Safe Start Plans that were released to WHCA members Thursday evening. The modified plans for assisted living and skilled nursing facilities are available on the DSHS website. The modified language clarified what information needs to be included in the posting of vaccination information on the facility’s door and in the visitors log. Providers need to make sure the postings notify visitors not only of the vaccination requirements, but that it is a violation of the Governor’s Proclamation to visit if they are unvaccinated. In the visitor log, the visitor will acknowledge they have reviewed this notice about vaccination requirements and the proclamation. The changes are under the main bullets of the Indoor Visitation section, bullet 2 and bullet 8. 
SAMPLE POSTER TO SUPPORT VISITOR SCREENING
WHCA has prepared a sample poster you can use to alert visitors about indoor visitation parameters. This sample is being provided in a Word file so you may adjust it and personalize it to your community for posting. 
FMAP ENHANCEMENT WEBINAR RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 22
Due to a Senate Ways and Means work session on the American Rescue Plan Act scheduled for this afternoon, the FMAP Enhancement webinar originally scheduled to be offered today is being rescheduled to Monday, March 22, from 11 AM - 12 PM. You may register to attend the new session time here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
DEAR PROVIDER LETTER REMINDS SNF PROVIDERS OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
In a Dear Administrator letter dated March 17, 2021, skilled nursing providers are given an update on NHSN and state reporting portal for COVID-19 data. The letter reminds providers of updates made to the reporting system and that they can meet the reporting requirement by submitting data directly to NHSN or data can be submitted to a reporting portal built and managed by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The letter also provides information regarding updates made on February 4 and March 4 and encourages providers to email Lisa Herke, Nursing Home Policy Program Manager, or call her at (509) 209-3088 if they have questions.
DEAR PROVIDER LETTER ANNOUNCES HEALTH SUPPORT TEAM TRAINING FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE
In a Dear Administrator letter dated March 17, 2021, all providers are informed the Washington COVID-19 Behavioral Health Group is currently offering Health Support Team (HST) training for behavioral healthcare, healthcare/EMS, and long term care workers. Trainings are held virtually at no cost to you or your facility. The letter contains an overview of the training available as well as pertinent information on how to participate.

Training Dates
Friday, April 9, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Friday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

To register, complete the Pre-Registration Questionnaire by clicking here. After completing the questionnaire, the training organizer will contact you with more information. If you have questions regarding this training, please email the HST Training group.
DOH UPDATE ON WHO CAN ADMINISTER COVID VACCINES
On March 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was adding additional categories of qualified people authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines, including certain students. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has updated its guidance on who can administer COVID vaccines in Washington State and issued guidance related to the recent HHS announcement:

Read more on the DOH website.
EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT JUST GOT EVEN BETTER UNDER THE AMERICA RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021!
The America Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), signed into law on March 11, does much for many, but one of the key parts is the material extension and expansion of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).

The ARP is the most recent, but probably not last, COVID-related recovery legislation. It follows the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Disaster Relief Act) included in the Consolidated Authorizations Act, 2021, enacted on December 27. The Disaster Relief Act made changes to the ERC, which are discussed here, including retroactively allowing recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to also claim the ERC for 2020 and expanding the ERC for 2021. ARP builds on that to make the credit even more attractive. Read more. Many thanks to Lane Powell for providing this article.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
WHCA continues to post resources and information as it becomes available on our website. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the WHCA office at (800) 562-6170.