To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Updates: CDC Updates; NHSN Updates Instructions for Completing Supplies and PPE Pathway; Temporary Technical Issues with Data Submission for Chapter 93 Reporting; Weekly DPH and CMS Call Reminders
Date: July 21, 2020
CDC Updates Transmission Based Precautions, Duration of Isolation,
and Return to Work Criteria
On July 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted substantial changes to the transmission-based precautions. As the CDC continues to learn more about the COVID-19 virus, they continue to revise prior guidance. The CDC updated the discontinuation of transmission-based precautions and disposition of patients with COVID-19 in healthcare settings. The guidance removes the test-based strategy and replaces it with a time-based strategy.
- For patients with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
- For persons who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 RNA.
The CDC revised the Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with COVID-19 Infection (Interim Guidance). The new criteria mirror those for residents and include:
- Except in rare situations, test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to allow healthcare personnel (HCP) to return to work.
- For HCP with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised, the recommended duration for work exclusion was extended to 20 days after symptom onset (or for asymptomatic severely immunocompromised HCP, 20 days after their initial positive COVID-19 diagnostic test).
- Other symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
o Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
o Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) updated the instructions for completing the NHSN pathway for Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment.
Below is a summary of changes made to the instructions:
- Section dedicated to selecting the correct facility type for NHSN enrollment
- Section on conventional capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) supply
- Section on utilization of contingency capacity or crisis capacity strategies for PPE supply items
- Do not include KN95 masks in the N95 mask supply item questions
- Contingency and crisis level strategies are not considered as having “any” supply, and therefore, “NO” must be selected for each supply item in which contingency or crisis strategies are being used.
To download the new instructions for the Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment pathway click here.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has been alerted to ongoing network issues affecting the Chapter 93 reporting portal in the REDCap application. Please be aware that your connection may be terminated, delayed, or time out prior to establishing a connection. These technical issues are temporary and should resolve within a few moments; if you encounter an issue, please wait a moment and try again and you will likely be able to establish a more stable connection. The Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) is investigating the issue and seeks to have the REDCap application working as soon as possible. Follow-up communications will be disseminated once a fix is made.
Temporary Provider Enrollment CMS Flexibilities
MassHealth has requested that provider associations forward to providers this notice regarding temporary provider enrollment CMS flexibilities during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Weekly Call for
Nursing Homes and Rest Homes
The next DPH conference call for nursing homes and rest homes is scheduled for Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM . This call will include members of DPH’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, and Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management.
Phone Number: 888-390-5007
Participant Code: 3479679
CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls
CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Nursing Homes calls are twice a month on Wednesday at 4:30 PM.
Wednesday, July 22nd at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 1143564