April 3, 2020
On April 2, 2020, CMS announced critical recommendations to state and local governments, as well as to nursing homes, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. The CMS’ previous March 13, 2020 guidance advised nursing homes to restrict visitors to help prevent the spread of the virus into these facilities. A round of infection control surveys completed during the week of March 30, 2020, prompted CMS to issue additional guidance. The additional guidance advises nursing homes to take, in sum, the following additional steps: focus on and ensure compliance with CDC’s hand hygiene guidance; perform self-assessments of compliance with the CDC checklist for COVID-19 infection control plans; pursue CDC strategies and work with state and local governments to conserve and optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff; ensure all staff are using appropriate PPE during patient and resident interactions; immediately implement the CDC’s symptom screening for everyone in the facility; use separate staffing teams for COVID-19 positive residents. See the April 2, 2020 Guidance for additional details on the recommendations.