COVID-19 UPDATE #92
October 21, 2020
REPORTING RESULTS OF POINT OF CARE TESTING FOR COVID-19: A NEW NHSN PATHWAY
For any assisted living community or skilled nursing center with a CLIA Waiver (to perform limited laboratory testing), the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN) has released a new NHSN option that will enable nursing homes to enter point of care (POC) SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test data into the NHSN application. NHSN, in turn, will report the nursing home POC laboratory test data electronically to the public health agency, state or local, that has jurisdictional authority and responsibility to receive and use the nursing home’s data. Deidentified nursing home POC laboratory also will be reported via existing public health reporting mechanisms to the US Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the US Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requirements. 

The NHSN team is providing training for a new NHSN Long Term Care Facility COVID-19 Pathway laboratory data reporting option. The webinar, Reporting Results of Point of Care Testing for COVID-19: A New NHSN Pathway, will be offered tomorrow, October 22, at 8 AM PST. The webinar will be live and allow for submission of audience questions. The October 23 training will be a rebroadcast of the recorded training from October 22, followed by a live Q & A session. A recording of the original webinar will also be posted for on-line viewing. Please note that both webinars are identical in content, so you only need to attend once. Register in advance for the training.

October 22, 2020 | 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PST | Register Here
October 23, 2020 | 11 AM – 12:00 noon PST | Register Here
ASSISTED LIVING AND SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES MUST SIGN UP NOW FOR THE CDC VACCINE LTC DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM
On Friday, October 16, the White House announced the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program, a national vaccine distribution program for long term care residents. Long term care facilities have until the end of October to register with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how they want to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Please register as soon as possible. This is critical to ensuring our vulnerable residents are among the first to receive a vaccine when it becomes available. Read more.

Assisted Living, ICF/IIDs, Independent Living | Register Here via REDCAP
NCQAC EXPEDITED FACILITY REQUEST FORM
For nurses needing applications to be expedited through the licensure process, the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) is working to give top priority to their applications. In a letter dated October 19, 2020, Paula Meyer, MSN, RN, FRE, Executive Director of NCQAC, shared that they are doing all they can to help expedite the process enabling nurses to get to work as quickly as possible in Washington.

The letter explains the two pathways out-of-state licensed nurses may use to practice in Washington and provides instruction on how to ensure applications are expedited. For additional directions and the online application, click here.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR GROUPED SKILLS TESTING EVENTS
In an effort to assist with the backlog of candidates resulting from the onset of COVID-19 and the necessity to suspend testing for a period of time due to social distancing requirements, the Department of Health (DOH) is offering multiple events across three days at two test sites.

On November 2, 3 and 4, candidates will be able to schedule into events at Martha and Mary Health Care in Poulsbo or Josephine Caring in Stanwood. Each date will accommodate up to 12 candidates, with a total of 72 appointments available. These appointments are for skills testing only, and the cost is $80 per test. Click here for registration and information.

The DOH encourages providers to inform their candidates of this opportunity in hopes of attracting candidates from multiple surrounding counties (King, Snohomish, and Whatcom at the Stanwood site and Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston for the Poulsbo site). If this format of scheduling (i.e., grouped dates for larger scale testing) proves successful, DOH may continue to implement this model in other areas of the state.

All events are currently available to schedule into, and it will be a first-come, first-served basis so please tell your candidates about this opportunity and schedule today! 
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.