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Coronavirus Disease 2019

Community Care Facilities

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LAC DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Community Care Facilities
21-page guidance
Thumbnail - Congregate Living Guidance

This guidance outlines specific steps facilities should take to help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their facility. Updated 11-24-20

LAC DPH Best Practices for COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control in Community Care Facilities
Thumbnail of CCF Infection Prevention Poster

Poster (Spanish Poster) summarizing key points from Guidance for Congregate Residential Facilities

Note – this poster is not a replacement for the guidance, the full set of recommendations specified in the guidance should be followed.

Infection Prevention Training for Community Care Facilities New!
Recommended Training Resources
Thumbnail for CCF Infection Prevention Training

Each Community Care Facility’s (CCF) staff person must have training in fundamental infection prevention and control principles. Ongoing education is necessary to remain aware of new information, trends, best practices, and to refresh existing knowledge. This resource includes a list of recommended trainings or resources in several key areas of infection prevention.

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Project Firstline is the CDC’s new infection control training collaborative designed to help every frontline healthcare worker gain knowledge and confidence about infection control. Learn more about Project Firstline and upcoming trainings.


LAC DPH COVID-19 Testing Support & Capacity Building Program: for Congregate Residential Care Facilities Flyer Spanish Flyer

Testing in Unvaccinated Individuals

New State Health Officer Orders require vaccinations or regular (weekly or biweekly COVID-19 testing) for unvaccinated employees in various settings, including health care settings and schools. These require employers and facilities to test and monitor their workforce members. There are a few options available to employers seeking COVID-19 testing to meet these new requirements, summarized here:

  • Establish an ongoing partnership/contract with existing laboratories for employee testing.
    • Please click here to review LA County and State laboratory reference lists to find a testing partner. Links to guides are available under Laboratory Information.
    • Please note all commercial and Medi-Cal health plans in California must provide COVID-19 testing and visits with zero cost sharing. Health plans must cover the testing whether the person is symptomatic or asymptomatic and regardless of whether the person has had recent known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. See Department of Managed HealthCare All Plan Letter (7-26-21).
  • Take advantage of State Testing resources. The State Testing Task Force supports PCR and Antigen testing programs. PCR tests results are highly sensitive and provide results in 24-48 hours. Rapid antigen tests are performed onsite and provide results in 15-30 minutes.
    • Information is available on the State Testing Task Force Antigen and PCR Testing Resource pages. Click here and enter your organization type to get started. The website will guide you through an application process to access either PCR testing through the Valencia Branch Laboratory or Antigen testing with confirmatory PCR testing.
    • To qualify for the State Testing Task Force resources, employers will need a lab directory, healthcare workers to administer the test, and a CLIA waiver. 
  • County-operated community testing sites are reserved for individuals who have symptoms or close contact with individual suspected to have COVID-19. Regular screening or surveillance testing is not supported. However, some County testing partners may offer screening or surveillance testing. You can click on https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/ to search non-County operated test sites near you and contact them to inquire about testing options.
Steps for establishing a relationship with a laboratory for COVID-19 testing
  1. Maintain an updated “line list” on MS Excel with information that will be required by a commercial laboratory for testing your staff and residents.
    1. If your facility plans to use a staff member or resident’s health insurance plan to pay for testing, obtain the health insurance plan information required for the laboratory to bill for the test.
  2. Establish a procedure for a physician to order COVID-19 diagnostic testing for each staff member or resident. There are several options:
    1. Medical Director affiliated with the Facility: The Facility Medical Director can serve as the ordering MD for all persons to be tested.
    2. Physician or physician’s group serving the Facility: Establish a relationship with a physician (or physician group) to provide on call services for your staff and residents; ensure the physician or group is willing to serve as the ordering provider for any laboratory testing needed.
    3. Primary care provider for each resident and staff: Maintain updated information on each person’s personal physician and their contact number. Contact each person’s personal physician to ask if they will serve as the ordering provider for COVID-19 testing should their patient need testing.
    4. Commercial laboratory’s Medical Director: Some labs provide physician services that includes a medical director to order testing as well as share test results.
  3. Identify a commercial laboratory that meets your facility’s testing needs using any of these resources (1) Testing Guidelines; (2) the California Testing Task Force Lab List; or (3) seek a recommendation from another CCF already connected to a commercial laboratory. Consider making an arrangement with a second laboratory as a contingency plan in case the primary laboratory is unable to provide testing in a timely manner.
  4. Establish administrative procedures to inform staff and residents about the plan for testing and return of results.
    1. The facility should establish policies for maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of results for staff and residents, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training for the administrator who will have access to the test results, as well as procedures for securely storing protected health information.
  5. Post an FAQ (Spanish FAQ) document in an easily visible area of the facility, summarizing the reason for testing, patient’s right to decline testing, the consequences for declining testing, and how the results will be returned. Specifically, staff and residents should be informed before testing if the results will be returned to the Facility administrator. 
HIPAA Training Resources
  • HHS HIPAA Training & Resources: provides a link to Medscape for free HIPAA training after creating an account. Link.
  • HIPAA Secure Now! Free HIPAA Security Training: This training is free but only accessible for 14 days after creating an account. Link
  • ProHIPAA Online HIPAA Training Videos: This training is free but a completion certificate costs $29.99. Link
Frequently Asked Questions

  • You should get tested for COVID-19 when you are having symptoms of infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • You should also get tested for COVID-19 if you have been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19. This applies whether you have symptoms or not and whether the person you were exposed to has a positive test or not.

  • When you have been within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.
  •  When you have had unprotected contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids and/or secretions, for example, if you have been coughed or sneezed on, have been sharing utensils or saliva, or have been providing care without wearing appropriate protective equipment.

  • No, however it is highly recommended that you get tested to prevent spreading infection to others if you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 related symptoms.

  • Check with your facility for their policies on staff and residents declining testing.

  • Your facility will arrange testing with a local commercial laboratory. See “how will the COVID-19 testing be paid for” for other options for staff.
  • The testing may be done at your facility or at a designated location, your facility will provide more information.
  • The type of sample taken will depend on the laboratory. It could be a nose or throat swab or a saliva sample.

  • COVID-19 testing should be covered for all residents and staff members needing testing, whether you have symptoms of COVID-19 or not.
  •  If you are a staff member and cannot obtain free testing through your facility or personal physician, you can book an appointment for a free test through LA County: https://la.fulgentgenetics.com OR https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.

  • If your test was provided by the facility you work or reside in, a designated staff member who has been trained to manage confidential information will disclose those results to you.
  •  If you have received the test through your primary care provider, you will receive your results from them. Then you can share the results with the designated staff member at your facility trained to manage confidential information.
  • COVID-19 and Memory Care Units Reference Sheet (CDPH) October 2020 Outlines steps facilities can take to mitigate COVID-19 in memory care units. Memory Care Tips
  • SNF COVID Testing Guidance
  • Interim Guidelines for COVID-19 Antigen Testing in Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) COVID information
  • Coronavirus Uninsured Group Program FAQ
  • COVID-19 Considerations for Children’s Congregate Care Facilities: (5/2021) Recording | Slides
  • COVID-19 Updates for Community Care Facilities: (3-23-21) Recording | Slides
  • COVID-19 Updates for Community Care Facilities: (4-13-21) Recording | Slides
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Community Care Facilities: (1-5-21) Recording | Slides
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Community Care Facilities: (12-22-20) Recording | Slides
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Community Care Facilities: (12-1-20) Recording | Slides
  • Prioritizing Self-Care: Creating a Wellness Plan in Uncertain Times: (11-10-20) Recording | Slides
  • Influenza Management During COVID-19: (10-27-20) Recording | Slides
  • COVID19 CCF PPE Best Practices Procurement Strategies (10-13-20) Recording | Slides
  • Developments in COVID-19 Testing for Community Care Facilities: (9-29-20) Recording | Slides

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