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April 20th COVID-19 Update

New COVID-19-related updates for providers of long-term/post-acute care (LTPAC) and senior services continue to be shared on a regular basis by both state and federal authorities. The latest developments are described below.

As a reminder, LeadingAge NY continues to convene weekly webinars on Mondays at 11 a.m. to address emerging questions on COVID-19. A recording of our most recent webinar, held on April 19th, is available here. If you have questions for next week’s update, please send them to Ami Schnauber, and be sure to check your email for the access information, or contact Jeff Diamond.

Cross-Sector Updates

Vaccination Update

The latest vaccination information, including updates on additional vaccination options in New York City (NYC) and data discrepancies in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), is summarized here.

Nursing Home and Adult Care Facility (ACF)/Assisted Living Updates

DOH Issues Emergency Regulations on Nursing Home and ACF Resident and Staff Vaccinations

On April 15th, the Department of Health (DOH) issued emergency regulations requiring nursing homes and ACFs to ensure access to vaccination for residents and staff. DOH has since issued Dear Administrator Letters (DALs) to nursing homes and ACFs alerting them to the regulations. Click here for more information.

DOH Regional Offices Shifting Directions on Outdoor Visitation and Other Activities During Nursing Home Outbreaks – UPDATED

LeadingAge NY reported on our COVID-19 update webinar on Mon., April 19th that some DOH regional offices appeared to be loosening some restrictions on outdoor visitation and socialization during outbreaks in nursing homes. Unfortunately, we have subsequently learned that they may be retracting that guidance and prohibiting residents of any unit on transmission-based precautions from participating in outdoor visitation. We have sought, but have not received, confirmation from the central office of the State’s policies related to outdoor visitation and social interaction. Click here for more information.

Local Positivity Rates

A document showing the most recent 14-day test positivity rates for each county in New York State based on both federal and state figures is available here. A bit over half of the counties have test positivity rates above 5 percent based on federal data; none are over 10 percent. The requirement for nursing homes across the state to test staff twice weekly remains in effect. The county positivity data posted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are lagged by a week and are updated each Monday or Tuesday. They are available for download in raw format here. LeadingAge NY extracts the CMS-calculated rates for New York State counties and posts them here, along with positivity rates calculated on state data covering the same two-week period.

Current daily county-level data for New York State are here, 7- and 14-day regional data are here, and ZIP code-level data for NYC showing infection rates during the most recent four weeks are available here. Effective March 22nd, the final remaining yellow zone clusters in New York State have been lifted. The State’s regional COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard showing new infections, severity of infections, and hospitalization data is available here.

Affordable Housing/Independent Living Updates

HUD Announces Third Round of CSP Funds

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has opened the third round of applications for owners to apply for funds to offset property expenditures related to COVID-19. This new round of COVID-19 Supplemental Payments (CSPs) can cover personal protective equipment (PPE) associated with conducting vaccination and testing events and temporary clinics at the property, as well as vehicle reimbursement for transportation associated with vaccination. The deadline to submit CSP requests to HUD is April 26th. Click here for more information from LeadingAge National.

CDC, HUD Address COVID-19 Restrictions in Independent Living

On an April 19th call for affordable senior housing providers and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials reviewed current COVID-19 guidance and recommendations, and senior HUD staff previewed federal partnerships to increase vaccine uptake among HUD-assisted residents. Click here for more information from LeadingAge National.