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As Newly Released from GHCA

Potential National Guard Support for COVID-19 Testing
The National Guard is positioning to potentially support COVID-19 testing in nursing centers for all residents and staff. This action will be separate from the infection control support. You may receive contact from the National Guard sharing information to this effect. If you are interested in this support, you should contact your local EMA to place the resource request in WebEOC.

CMS Announces New Requirements for Reporting Confirmed Cases 
Yesterday, CMS announced new regulatory requirements that will require nursing centers to inform residents, their families and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition, as part of President Trump’s Opening Up America, CMS will now require nursing centers to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This information must be reported in accordance with existing privacy regulations and statutes. This measure augments longstanding requirements for reporting infectious disease to State and local health departments. Finally, CMS will also require nursing homes to fully cooperate with CDC surveillance efforts around COVID-19 spread.

CDC will be providing a reporting tool to nursing homes that will support Federal efforts to collect nationwide data to assist in COVID-19 surveillance and response. This joint effort is a result of the CMS-CDC Work Group on Nursing Home Safety. CMS plans to make the data publicly available. More details are available in CMS’ press release and guidance memo.

This announcement is similar to AHCA/NCAL guidance released last weekend on reporting confirmed cases to stakeholders and to the state survey agency if providers were not already doing so. The announcement by CMS applies only to nursing centers, so assisted living communities should continue to follow AHCA/NCAL’s guidance on notifications.

Nebulizing Guidance 
AHCA/NCAL has developed new guidance that outlines when and what to do with COVID-19 residents with severe respiratory symptoms who need nebulizer treatments. CDC considers nebulizer treatments to be an aerosol-generating procedure. This may increase the risk of infection due to aerosols generated by the procedure or due to increased contact between health care providers and patients. Facilities should review the guidance and consider whether they can care for a resident who requires nebulizer treatment.