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Pandemic Emergency Plan Guidance Issued

On June 17, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation requiring that each residential health care facility, by Sept. 15, 2020, prepare and make available to the public on the facility’s website, and immediately upon request, a Pandemic Emergency Plan (PEP).

On Aug. 20, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) NH 20-09 providing guidance on the requirements of the PEP for nursing homes. Included with the DAL was a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) template and a CEMP toolkit addressing various planning issues and potential vulnerabilities. Also included was an announcement of online CEMP training with a link to enroll.

Members may want to access the fillable CEMP template and the toolkit to assist in the development of their plan. 

The DAL outlines a number of key areas that must be reflected in the PEP. Among the items that must be addressed are the following:

  • A communication plan that provides updates to family members/guardians of infected residents daily;
  • A communication plan that updates all residents and family members/guardians weekly on the number of infections/deaths at the facility;
  • Daily access to videoconferencing or similar communications for residents and family members/guardians;
  • An Infection Protection Plan for residents, staff, and families that considers how to reduce transmission;
  • A plan for readmission of residents following hospitalization;
  • The use of units, floors, and/or wings and the cohorting of residents to reduce transmission of infection;
  • The need to have at least a 60-day supply of personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • The type of PPE that is necessary to provide care;
  • A plan for preserving a resident's place in the facility when the resident is hospitalized.

It is suggested that in developing the PEP, nursing homes follow the format for the Emergency Preparedness requirements issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The PEP may be included as an annex to that plan.

On Aug. 21, 2020, DOH provided a webinar on the PEP. For members who may have missed the webinar, or for those who want to view it again, a recording is available here.

Contact: Elliott Frost, efrost@leadingageny.org, 518-441-8761