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Reporting LAHAN Alerts

Coronavirus Disease 2019

Community Care Facilities


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INFECTION CONTROL
LAC DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Congregate Residential Facilities
12-page guidance

This guidance strongly recommends that facilities review their emergency plans and consider ways to continue essential services if onsite operations must be reduced temporarily. It also provides general information about COVID-19, as well as specific actions to help slow the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19 both within and outside facilities.

LAC DPH Best Practices for COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control in Community Care Facilities
Highlights

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.

TESTING TOOLKIT
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) Department of Health Service’s Lab Reference Guide; (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.
Resources
  • Targeted Testing Guidance for Community Care Facilities Guidance
  • 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
Webinars
  • Developments in COVID-19 Testing for Community Care Facilities: (9-29-20) Recording | Slides
  • COVID19 CCF PPE Best Practices Procurement Strategies (10-13-20) Recording | Slides












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  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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