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Nov. 17th 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 Nov. 16th, 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.

Nursing Home Updates

Nursing Homes in Micro-Cluster Zones Subject to New Staff Testing and Visitation Restrictions

Under a new Executive Order and related guidance, nursing homes in red, orange, and yellow micro-cluster zones must test staff twice weekly, and those in red and orange zones must suspend visitation. Click here for more information.

County Positivity Rates

The most recent listing of 14-day testing positivity rates for each county in New York State from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is available here. Current daily county-level data for New York State are here, and ZIP-code level data for New York City showing infection rates during the most recent four weeks are available here.

LeadingAge National Releases COVID-19 Nursing Home Testing Toolkit

This week, LeadingAge National unveiled a new product, the COVID-19 Nursing Home Toolkits and Resources. This series of toolkits, developed with Pathway Health, will be available exclusively to LeadingAge members. The first of the series is the Testing Toolkit, which contains 13 sections focusing on testing policies, learning and leader’s guide, competencies, pre- and post-testing, outbreak investigation, swabbing collection, and billing. As tools are developed, states may adapt them, as appropriate, to reference state laws or regulations that may be relevant and will encourage you to do so as well. Since the tools and resources are for LeadingAge members only, you will need your email and password to access these documents through your My.LeadingAge account.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Updates

Hospice DAL Notes Enforcement Discretion for Certain Regulations

Last week, the Department of Health (DOH) issued a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) regarding certain 1135 CMS waivers pertaining to hospice. DOH will exercise enforcement discretion when conducting surveillance surveys for those hospice agencies that are acting in accordance with the requirements of these federal waivers, but are not acting in accordance with the commensurate state regulations. Click here for more information.