Current requirements and CDC guidance specify that nursing homes notify State or Local health department about residents or staff with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, residents with severe respiratory infection resulting in hospitalization or death, or ≥ 3 residents or staff with new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other.
Under the new guidance nursing homes must also do the following:
- Inform residents and their representatives within 12 hours of the occurrence of a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, or three or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours.
- Provide weekly updates to residents and their representatives or provide updates each subsequent time a confirmed infection of COVID-19 is identified and/or whenever three or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occurs within 72 hours.
- Issue updates which include information on mitigating actions implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, including if normal operations in the nursing home will be altered.
- Report information in accordance with existing privacy regulations and statute.
In rulemaking that will follow today’s memorandum, failure to do any of the above could result in an enforcement action against the nursing home by CMS.
The required collection of this information will be used to support surveillance of COVID-19 locally and nationally, monitor trends in infection rates, and inform public health policies and actions. This information may be retained and publicly reported in accordance with law.
The full CDC guidance to prepare nursing homes for COVID-19 can be found here.
If you have questions or concerns about this guidance, please do not hesitate to reach out.