COVID-19 Considerations for Long-Term Care Facilities (Toolkit)

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

ASPR Tracie [Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE)] has released a new toolkit for nursing homes to address current response and recovery operations to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).  This toolkit carries the date of September 2020. 

“This toolkit is a compilation of considerations for LTC facilities based on lessons learned during the early months of the pandemic accompanied by resources to inform planning and response efforts.

This toolkit was created with the assistance of John Hick, MD, Hennepin Healthcare, and subject matter experts from two of our partner agencies: the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), and Alicia Livinski, MPH, MA, Biomedical Librarian at the National Institutes of Health.”  

This toolkit is different from the Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 in NHs and is well worth your review. 

“Long-term care (LTC) facilities (including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities) are a healthcare setting of particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. LTC facility residents tend to have characteristics that put them at increased risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19, including older age and presence of comorbid conditions. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, there have been 198,153 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 119,701 suspected COVID-19 cases, and 49,871 COVID-19 deaths in residents as of August 16, 2020. Increased risk of exposure is also a concern for LTC facility staff, who have close physical contact with patients, often work extended shifts due to a workforce shortage, and may not be familiar with robust infection prevention programs. In addition to their own increased risk of exposure, LTC facility staff present an increased transmission risk. The relatively high proportion of staff working in more than one facility and the ability of the virus to be transmitted by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic persons are two factors that facilitate the introduction and transmission of the virus within and among LTC facilities.” Here’s what you’ll find within this 16-page toolkit: