The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued infection prevention recommendations to nursing homes and state and local governments to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. CMS asked that nursing homes immediately:
- Comply with all CMS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for infection control.
- Implement symptom screening, including temperature checks, for all staff, residents and visitors.
- Ensure all staff are using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when they are interacting with patients and residents, to the extent PPE is available and per CDC guidance on conservation of PPE.
- Establish separate staffing teams, as resources allow, for COVID-19 negative residents, COVID-19 positive residents and residents with unknown COVID-19 status.
- Work with state and local leaders to designate separate facilities or units within a facility to separate COVID-19 negative residents from COVID-19 positive residents and residents with unknown COVID-19 status.
CMS also asked that state and local leaders consider the needs of long-term care facilities with respect to PPE and COVID-19 tests. CMS previously issued guidance advising nursing homes to restrict visitors to prevent introducing the virus into these facilities and announced new focused infection control surveys intended to assess facilities’ compliance with infection control requirements to ensure they are prepared to address the COVID-19 threat. View the CMS COVID-19 Long-Term Facility Guidance updated April 2. To read today’s full announcement visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-issues-key-recommendations-nursing-homes-state-and-local-governments For the latest COVID-19 information from CMS, please visit the CMS Current Emergencies Website.