COVID-19 UPDATE #149
March 30, 2021
CDC PROVIDES UPDATES ON INTERIM INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL RECOMMENDATIONS
This week the CDC updated its interim infection prevention and control recommendations to prevent COVID-19 spread in nursing homes. 
The updates include: 
  • Merging of two prior guidance documents: “Responding to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes” and “Performing Facility-wide COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes."
  • Visitation and physical distancing measures.
  • Health department notification criteria to be consistent with Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist guidance for reporting. 

Additions to recommendations include: 
  • Information on importance of vaccinating residents and healthcare personnel (HCP) with appropriate links. 
  • Proper use and handling of personal protective equipment (PPE). 
  • Universal PPE use to align with the interim infection prevention and control guidance for HCP. 
  • A description of when it may be appropriate for a resident with a suspected COVID-19 infection to “shelter-in-place.” 
  • Considerations for situations when it might be appropriate to keep the room door open for a resident with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. 
  • Management of residents who had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection, including a description of quarantine recommendations (resident placement, recommended PPE, and duration of quarantine). 
  • Addressing circumstances when quarantine is recommended for residents who leave the facility. 
  • Responding to newly-identified COVID-19-infected resident or HCP. 
  • Addressing quarantine and work exclusion considerations for asymptomatic residents and HCP who are within 90 days of resolved infection. 

Even as nursing homes resume normal practices and begin relaxing restrictions, they must sustain core IPC practices and remain vigilant for COVID-19 infection among residents and HCP in order to prevent spread and protect residents and staff.
LTC TRANSITION FROM VACCINE CLINIC TO MAINTENANCE RESOURCES AVAILABLE FROM DOH
The Department of Health (DOH) has provided slides from a webinar they hosted on transitioning from vaccine clinics to vaccine maintenance. They are also providing other resources for providers to assist with the transition.

If providers have additional questions, they can email DOH at any time.
EMERGENCY RULES SUSPENDING TB TESTING ARE EXTENDED
In a Dear Administrator letter dated March 24, 2021, all providers are informed that emergency rules suspending TB testing are being extended. Ongoing communication with stakeholders indicates a continuance of these suspended rules is needed as the COVID pandemic is still impacting the ability of long term care facilities to meet these requirements. The letter encourages providers to contact their Residential Care Services (RCS) field manager if they have questions.
ABBOTT BINAXNOW COVID TEST CARDS NOW WITH EXTENDED EXPIRATION DATES
Abbott’s Quality and Regulatory teams, working with the FDA, have gained approval to extend the expiration of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card kits that have currently been distributed. These are specifically the kits that were manufactured with six-month expiration dates (195-000). Many of the BinaxNOW test cards distributed can be utilized up to 90 days past their labeled expiration date. This attachment contains information from Abbott and a list of the lot numbers that qualify for the extension. If you have questions about this information, please contact Abbott Technical Services at (800) 257-9525 or via email
PPE BURN RATE CALCULATOR - VERSION 2 NOW AVAILABLE
The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator​- Version 2 is available to download now. Version 2 has more options for users to enter and view PPE data and more capability to meet the needs of large companies and facilities with complex inventory needs.
ANTIGEN POC TEST UPDATES: ABBOTT NOW AVAILABLE AND BD PRICE DROP
The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card rapid antigen test is now available for purchase through Medline and McKesson. The Biden Administration just awarded another large contract with Abbott to supply these tests to long term care, so facilities in yellow (5-10 percent positivity rate) and red (10 percent or more positivity) counties will likely continue to receive shipments of Abbott tests. Facilities in green counties or facilities in need of additional tests can purchase them through Medline or McKesson. 

The BD Veritor antigen test has also reduced in price. These tests were part of the one-time distribution of tests and test devices to nursing homes back in July by CMS and HHS. Please contact your distributer for more information on pricing.

If you are not using Medline or McKesson already, contact information for each company is included below:
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.