KHCA/KCAL is committed to providing our members with important updates. Below is a list of the most recent COVID-19 updates. Please visit our website for a list of complete updates.

The KHCA/KCAL staff is here working for you! Due to the volume of calls you may need to leave a message. We will return your call as soon as we possibly can.
CDC Issues Report on Assisted Living COVID Experience in Seattle 
CMS released a  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)  April ) on an assisted living and independent living community in Seattle related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The report found that early intervention, increased social distancing among residents, and less contact with health care providers were possibly effective at minimizing the spread of the virus in an assisted living setting. More specifically:
  • residents were isolated in their rooms with no communal meals or activities 
  • no visitors were allowed in the facility
  • staff members were screened and symptomatic staff members were excluded from entering 
  • enhanced hygiene practices were put into effect, including cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and additional hand hygiene stations in hallways for workers to use 

Among the 142 residents and staff members tested during the initial phase, three of 80 residents (3.8%) and two of 62 staff members (3.2%) had positive test results. 

The report also found that symptom screening is unlikely to be sufficient to identify all persons infected. Three of four residents who had positive test results were asymptomatic. 

All assisted living providers are strongly encouraged to review   CDC guidance for LTC Facilities  as well as   AHCA/NCAL’s guidance for ALs  on limiting the spread of COVID-19, and are encouraged to minimize the number of interactions with residents by reducing the number of various (non-essential) people entering the building,  targeting the number of interactions with residents , and instituting  non-communal dining .

AHCA/NCAL releases guidance for Medicare Skilled Coverage During COVID-19
COVID-19 Credible Information Sources
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, the General Public is being bombarded with false information. In order stop the spread of this false information, and hopefully cut down on the influx of the worried-well at your facilities, we must begin to provide them with credible information sources. The attached document was developed with the intent of distribution to the General Public. Please feel free to post this information in your facilities, include it on your social media, etc. 
Updated: Cohorting Residents During COVID-19
AHCA/NCAL has updated this  cohorting consideration guide , as CMS released new  guidance  on April 2 related to this topic. 

All nursing homes and assisted living communities should make plans for cohorting residents now, even before COVID-19 enters the building per CMS guidance. Cohorting is imperative to help control the spread of the virus. If possible, nursing homes and assisted living communities should also begin preparing wings, units or floors as “isolation units”. Isolation unit should be a separate, well-ventilated area, ideally with a separate entrance. 
In-house laundering of HCW scrubs
Q. Would it be OK or advisable for health care providers to launder staff scrubs in-house during the pandemic to make sure they are properly and frequently laundered? 
Also, are there “best practice” instructions on laundering like this?

A. Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures.
PEAK is here to assist with Consistent Staffing
CMS's latest guidelines call for consistent staffing. PEAK is on hold during this time to give homes the capacity to respond to the pandemic. We have a team and the resources on consistent staffing to help. I sent the following message to PEAK homes. Please extend it to all homes in KS. 
Friday, April 3rd, CMS released their newest guidelines on COVID-19. Their recommendations call for  consistent staffing :

COVID-19 Long-Term Care Facility Guidance April 2, 2020

• Long-term care facilities should exercise as best as possible  consistent assignment (meaning the assignment of staff to certain patients and residents) for all patients and residents regardless of symptoms or COVID-19 status.  This practice can enhance staff’s familiarity with their assigned patients and residents, helping them detect emerging condition changes that unfamiliar staff may not notice. The goal is to decrease the number of different staff interacting with each patient and resident as well as the number of times those staff interact with the patient and resident. Also, staff as much as possible should not work across units or floors.

i.                     Long-term care facilities should redeploy existing training related to consistent assignment, and ensure staff are familiar with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

If you will be working on tackling the  consistent staffing guidelines, PEAK 2.0 has resources  that can help. One of the PEAK cores, Relationships, outlines consistent staffing and there are resources to help you establish consistent staffing in your home that line up with CMS's guidance. I have attached these resources to this email.  The PEAK 2.0 Team is also available to help your team determine and plan of action and consult with your team. Please reply to this email if you would like one of our consultants to contact you.

All normal PEAK activities are on hold to provide homes greater capacity to respond the pandemic so our team is ready and able to help.

It is our honor to help build your capacity to serve elders during this time.

-The PEAK 2.0 Team

On a positive note....
Bridge the Gap Podcast invites listeners and Healthcare Heroes to the Happy Hour + Free Concert with country music Star Jay Allen! 4:00PM Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Kansas Health Care Association and the Kansas Center for Assisted Living
1100 SW Gage Blvd Topeka, KS 66604
PH: 785-267-6003 FAX: 785-267-0833