COVID-19 UPDATE #60
July 27, 2020
EXPANDED STATEWIDE ORDER ON FACE COVERING
On Friday, July 24, Secretary of Health John Wiesman expanded the statewide order on facial coverings. Under the new order , every person in Washington must wear a face covering when they are outside their "home or dwelling unit." For those living in congregate care settings like assisted living, the order applies when a person is outside their unit or bedroom. Thus, according to the new order , assisted living residents must wear a face covering in both public and non-public settings outside of their unit, including but not limited to, outdoor areas, health care settings, public transportation, elevators, hallways, parking garages, kitchens, lounges, lobbies, storage areas, garbage recycling areas, and laundry rooms. In addition, a link to a Department of Health press release with additional information on the face coverings proclamation can be found here .
GOVERNOR EXTENDS BAN ON EVICTIONS AND RENT INCREASES
On Friday, July 24, Governor Inslee announced that he was extending the statewide prohibition on eviction actions and rent increases through October 15, 2020. The Governor’s proclamation effectively prohibits eviction actions, except when the action is necessary to respond to significant and immediate risks of health or safety. In addition, the Governor's proclamation prohibits any "rent increases." 

For assisted living and skilled nursing providers, the Governor’s proclamation does not prohibit all transfer/discharge action as long as those actions are linked to health and safety concerns. In addition, it is WHCA's understanding that increased charges associated with increased care needs for assisted living residents are not necessarily prohibited, but caution should be exercised. DSHS has indicated that it will provide additional guidance. If and when that guidance is provided, we will let you know. If you have questions, please email Robin Dale.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED FOR POSSIBLE HHS FUNDING FOR PRIVATE PAY ASSISTED LIVING
Relief funds for private-pay assisted living providers are under consideration from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To help facilitate this, HHS has requested our assistance in gathering specific information on licensed senior living providers, including assisted living, memory care, and CCRCs, in U.S. states and territories.

Your help will be needed as soon as possible: Deadline is July 31, 2020, 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

A distribution to private-pay assisted living is not fully confirmed, nor are details about how an allocation might be distributed. However, providing HHS with this data is an important step forward, and we appreciate your help in being responsive to their request.

Companies that offer licensed/registered/certified assisted living/memory care should start preparing the following:
  • Name of licensed/registered/certified assisted living and/or memory care community
  • Name of entity that holds the license/registration/certification
  • Address
  • Community license/registration/certification number (some states may not provide a number)
  • Corresponding Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Taxpayer ID Number for the filing company
  • Contact information for the person submitting data
  • Include licensed assisted living that is part of a CCRC—even if the skilled nursing facility associated has already received funding from the Provider Relief Fund.
 
A group of national trade associations—Argentum, AHCA/NCAL, LeadingAge, and ASHA—are now preparing a secure data collection portal for information. The link to the portal and instructions will be provided as soon as possible so you can input your data safely by July 31.
NCAL TO HOST BRIEFING CALL JULY 30
The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) will host a briefing call on Thursday,
July 30, at 11 AM PST. To join the call, click here . You may listen via your computer speakers, or you may dial in. To join via phone, dial (855) 239-5371 and enter Conference ID 7960579#.
WASHINGTON NURSING ASSISTANT TESTING WILL RESUME WITH SAFETY PROTOCOLS
The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission is excited to announce that Washington’s nurse assistant testing will resume in counties that are in Phase 2 or higher, effective the week of August 10, 2020.

In relation to COVID-19 and an interest in safe and efficient testing of candidates, here are some important changes to know about:
  • Testing that resumes during the week of August 10 will begin with administration of the skills portion of the exam only. Testing for the written (or oral) exam will resume a few weeks later in a computer-based testing format at Pearson’s third-party testing center. This change has several advantages including candidates’ ability to schedule specific time slots for their skills exam and increased overall capacity for test-taker volume.
  • About a month after computer-based testing at third-party Pearson test centers is launched, a new option for computer-based testing—called “OnVUE”—will be launched enabling candidates to take the computer-based written (or oral) exam from flexible alternate locations, such as their own homes. This will facilitate improved access for those in remote areas where testing centers are less plentiful.
  • Pearson VUE has worked to develop safety protocols for testing in alignment with Washington’s Phase 2 guidance. They have provided notification to all test centers, evaluators, and candidates. Review information about the new testing protocols.

Please know that with these changes to testing, existing testing appointments will need to be canceled to accommodate scheduling skills and written (or oral) testing separately as described. Pearson VUE has reached out to test sites and candidates to notify them and provide information about next steps.
ARGENTUM HOSTING WEBINAR ON HHS FUNDING APPLICATION PROCESS
Argentum invites you to join a special webinar on eligibility requirements and navigating the application process for the Medicaid distribution from the CARES Act provider relief fund. Eligible providers that participate in state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIPs) now have until August 3, 2020, to submit an application for these funds. This webinar will help answer your questions on eligibility and what you will need to complete the application process. Register here .
AHCA/NCAL DEVELOPS COVID-19 TRAININGS WITH EMPHASIS ON INFECTION CONTROL
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has developed two COVID-19 trainings titled, Infection Prevention and Control in the Post-COVID-19 World , designed for leadership, and Basics of Infection Prevention & Control in the Post-COVID-19 World , designed for all staff. 
 
The Infection Prevention and Control in the Post-COVID-19 World course reviews how COVID-19 spreads and how to track and report the illness, including the regulatory requirements for infection prevention and control. It reviews the basics of infection prevention and control practices and looks at the future of infection prevention and control. The course describes the process for cohorting and using testing to inform cohorting practices. It looks at how to conduct self-assessment processes to continually evaluate and improve your infection prevention and control program. Lastly, the course reviews the process and necessity of screening practices and notifications to residents, families, and their representatives, including the importance of communication.
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.