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June 28th 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 discussed 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 June 27th, is available here, and a list of the items shared by LeadingAge NY staff in the webinar chat can be accessed here. If you have questions for next week’s update, which will be held on Tues., July 5th at 11 a.m. due to the July 4th holiday, or would like the access information, please contact Jeff Diamond.

Cross-Sector Updates

SSA Issues Updated Guidance on SSI Exclusion for Pandemic-Related Financial Assistance

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has updated its guidance on pandemic-related financial assistance to clarify that these funds will never be counted as a resource for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. Click here for more information.

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

NHSN Reporters: Please Note New Definition

The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) has updated the definition of “up to date with COVID-19 vaccination” used in the LTC COVID-19 Module and for Weekly Staff and Resident Vaccination Reporting to match the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) definition starting this week (i.e., the week of June 27th). This change does not impact the CDC clinical definition; it simply aligns the definition used in nursing home COVID-19 NHSN reporting modules with the current CDC definition. The CDC continues to define being up to date with COVID-19 vaccination for individuals who are 50 years of age or older as having a second booster, if eligible. Individuals younger than 50 meet the definition of up to date after receiving one booster, if eligible. Those reporting to NHSN should ensure that they are capturing resident and staff counts using the updated key terms.

AlbaNYlabs LLC COVID-19 Testing Services

AlbaNYlabs LLC is a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA)-certified, high-complexity molecular diagnostic lab providing COVID-19 testing services. This service is also available for ACFs and adult day health care (ADHC) programs. Click here for more information.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and Affordable Housing/Independent Living Updates

Now Available: Free COVID-19 Tests for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

On June 23rd, the White House launched a new initiative to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing options for people who are blind or have low vision, including the distribution of free at-home test kits that utilize audio step-by-step instructions and audio test results to be more accessible to these individuals. Click here for more information.