New/updated information is tagged with “**”
**SBA prioritizes smallest of small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program-see Potential Economic Relief Resources below
**Extension of COVID Payments Through Second Quarter of 2021
- Covid-19 Vaccine
- No Cost N95 Fit-testing and Other N95 Information
- Updated Safe Start for LTC
- Department of Health Webinar Q&A Library
- Covid-19 FAQ’s for AFH’s
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance Documents
- FamHelp: COVID-19 Resources for Family and Friends
- **Potential Economic Relief Resources
In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services are providing information about how to manage and contain the outbreak.
What may be most important to know is that using infection controls and universal precautions can reduce the risk of the virus spreading. The population of adult family homes residents, considering their comorbidity and often frail health are at increased risk from the virus.
**Extension of COVID Payments Through Second Quarter of 2021
The Adult Family Home Council is working with the state of Washington to extend Covid-19 payments through June 30, 2021. The agreements will include the following:
- A COVID-19 enhanced daily rate of $13.96 per day will be authorized from April 1 through June 30, 2021
- Retainer payments will be available June 30, 2021, for those clients impacted by COVID-19
No Restrictions on Admissions to Adult Family Homes
Unless you have a current Covid outbreak in your AFH, there are no restrictions on admitting new residents or readmitting residents who have been hospitalized or in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Hospital and SNF capacity are at critical levels and there is a need for other long-term care settings to accept patients who are ready for a more appropriate level of care. Here are some guidelines when admitting or readmitting residents:
- The resident should quarantine for 14 days upon admission. A negative Covid-19 test is not required nor necessarily a good indication of exposure.
- Virtual tours are recommended since in-person tours are prohibited
- Residents under quarantine are not eligible for in-person visits. Virtual visits should be encouraged
Rapid Response Short-Term Crisis Staffing
DSHS is contracting with temporary nurse staffing agencies to provide Rapid Response Crisis Staffing teams in order to provide short-term staffing support to supplement long-term care facilities experiencing challenges in caring for residents due to positive Covid-19 cases in the home.
Providers can request support from a Rapid Response team for one or more of the following reasons:
- Staff or resident/client COVID outbreak that threatens the ability of the facility or agency to meet the ongoing needs of residents or clients.
- Situations where a facility or agency will significantly benefit from short-term respite for direct nursing and personal care assistance staff; and
- Facilities with a sudden and unexpected nursing and aide staff absences for COVID or other infectious disease related reasons that would threaten the ability to provide care or services to residents or clients.
Click here to learn more about the program and to request assistance.
StayConnected Campaign: More Tablets Available
The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program received over 1,000 applications at the beginning of the pandemic for 7-inch Amazon Fire Tablets through the #StayConnected campaign. With these tablets, residents can access social media, video conferencing apps, and much more to connect with family and essential services like the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. After hearing about how badly our community needed these tools, we got to work. They applied for a grant that could give every eligible facility a tablet, but need one more thing. They need a statement that applicants understand that these tablets require wi-fi.
If you applied before September 1st and have not received a tablet, we encourage you to apply again. We do have a limited supply, so be sure to fill it out today! If you require assistance with the application, please email us at email@example.com.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- PPE Requests for AFH’s with positive Covid-19 cases-UPDATED Dear Provider Letter 2020-011
- PPE Requests for King County Only.
- PPE requests for Pierce County Only
- PPE requests for Spokane County Only
- PPE request through the Association of Washington Businesses
- **PPE Resources for Thurston County
Postponed: RCS Reimplementation of Inspection and Investigation Activities
Due to an increase in transmission rates throughout the state, RCS is putting a hold on full reimplementation of inspections. They will continue to focus on infection control inspections and investigations as well as immediate jeopardy investigations or serious allegations of substandard care or services. Click here to read the Dear Provider Letter
Covid-19 Status Updates-Monday/Thursday Reports
Dear Provider letter 2020-017 states the Department is requesting each AFH complete an online report every Monday and Thursday to determine where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Covid-19 testing is needed.
Hiring New Staff
During this outbreak, while the rules are suspended the only requirement for hiring caregiving staff are:
- Name & Date of Birth Background Check (federal fingerprint testing paused)
- Orientation and Safety Training
- Facility Orientation
- TB testing requirement suspended
- Management Bulletin 20-016-temporary policy changes for long-term care workers
- WAC 388-112A chapter requirements are temporarily suspended
- 120-day training and 200-day certification requirements are paused if training has started
- Specialty Training timelines are paused
- First Aid/CPR requirement paused
- Continuing Education requirements are paused
- RN Delegation-training and testing for this self study course can be completed remotely
- Management Bulletin MB 20-017 for information about assessments
- Assessment will be completed by phone or using other technology whenever possible
- If there is a concern for client health or safety or a client requests a visit, Case Managers will use their professional judgement to determine how to respond
- Private pay assessments: there is no requirement for these to be in-person (WAC 388-76-10335 through 10350)
Dear Provider Letters Listserv
- It is very important to stay informed during this time when things are changing quickly. Make sure you are signed up to receive Dear Provider letters from the department.