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11/16/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Monday, November 16, 2020

Monday, November 16, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Monday, November 16 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Today's Report

  • LeadingAge Ohio all-member Q&A on Thursday: Send questions early
  • COVID-19 reporting grid tool released; New reporting requirements for AL, Adult Day
  • Opt-in/opt-out of state NF testing program: Non-respondents need to act
  • Point of Care Machines: Have ‘at the ready’
  • Adult Day Subcommittee meets with ODA
  • Self-insured organizations: Please send contact info
  • LeadingAge Ohio urges families to not bring loved ones home for Thanksgiving gathering
  • LeadingAge bestows the Award of Honor... And it's you!
  • LeadingAge Need to Know

LeadingAge Ohio all-member Q&A on Thursday: Send questions early

This Thursday, November 19 at 9:30AM, LeadingAge Ohio will host its bi-monthly all-member webinar focused entirely on member questions and answers. These Q&A webinars are held on the first and third Thursday of the month.

During the unscripted, 30-minute webinar, LeadingAge Ohio policy and regulatory experts will field questions related to testing, telehealth, visitation, vaccination and other fast-moving topics. Join Kathryn Brod, Anne Shelley, Stephanie DeWees and Susan Wallace to hear Q&A on survey expectations, visitation logistics, testing processes, reporting and more.

Members are encouraged to send advance questions to the COVID-19 mailbox so research can be completed if needed. Alternately, members will be able to chat in questions during the webinar.  Registration is required, but there is no fee to participate.

COVID-19 Reporting Grid Tool Released; New reporting requirements for AL, Adult Day

LeadingAge Ohio has developed a COVID-19 Reporting Grid as a tool to assist members in navigating the where, when, and what on requirements for reporting test results, PPE supplies, and other COVID-related topics. The grid is a response to members’ requests for help navigating a complex web of state and federal reporting requirements which often vary by provider type, and at times, have changed day-to-day.

This comes just in time as today, the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) provided additional guidance on reporting requirements for Residential Care Facilities, Adult Day Centers, and Senior Centers. In accordance with the Director's Order for the Testing of the Residents and Staff of all Residential Care Facilities and the Amended Director’s Order on the Opening of Adult Day Care Services and Senior Centers (effective 10/17/2020), facilities will verify compliance of the applicable Order by submitting a reporting tool following each bi-weekly testing cycle.

The new ODA reporting tool will be available one week following each bi-weekly test cycle and will remain available for a period of three full business days (Monday through Wednesday).  The third reporting period begins today, Monday, November 16 through Wednesday, November 18 and will capture testing efforts conducted on or between October 26 and November 8.

Providers should ensure they have readily available details about the tests performed and test results in order to complete the reporting tool. The reporting tool must be completed in one session and should be submitted by each provider once during a reporting period. Providers should submit only one report during this reporting period. All questions in the reporting tool must be fully and accurately answered.

Immediately following submission, survey respondents will receive the following message confirming that the online reporting tool was successfully received:

Message

In accordance with state-issued guidance, regardless of a provider’s opening and/or activity status, all providers are required to complete the online reporting tool. Adult day providers and senior centers that have not yet reopened, or are temporarily closed, will be able to indicate closure status within the reporting tool.

Questions related to the reporting tool can be submitted to COVIDTesting@age.ohio.gov.

Opt-in/opt-out of state NF testing program: Non-respondents need to act

LeadingAge Ohio learned over the weekend that 13.6% of the state’s nursing homes did not respond to the opt-in/opt-out state program for testing. DeWine Administration officials have expressed concern about those facilities that have not yet made testing plans known, given the surge in COVID cases underway. The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) has promised to share the list of non-responding providers with LeadingAge Ohio for follow-up; in the meantime, if you have NOT responded to let the state know your intent, please email Kathryn Brod at kbrod@leadingageohio.org IMMEDIATELY.

By way of reminder, the opt-in/opt-out survey provided the following four different options of state-supported testing for facilities to choose from the following:

  1. Alternating weeks of PCR and rapid antigen test • Four (4) week state-supported supply of PCR and antigen tests per month.
  2. Rapid antigen test only • Two (2) week state-supported supply of antigen tests per month (this means that the other two weeks of testing would be through the facility’s own means/processes).
  3. PCR test only • Two (2) week state-supported supply of PCR tests per month (as above, this means that the other two weeks of testing would be through the facility’s own means/processes).
  4. Opt-out of state-supported testing • Facility fully responsible for supplying testing (e.g., partnership with a private laboratory, usage of point of care machines) for the mandated weekly cadence, outbreak testing, symptomatic residents and staff, and confirmatory PCR tests in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Additional information can be found on the Ohio Department of Aging Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing Program websiteODA has released training on the new testing strategy.

Point of Care Machines: Have ‘at the ready’

As Ohio’s case numbers climb, greater numbers of nursing homes are experiencing an “outbreak” and require immediate access to testing supplies in addition to what the state has provided.  

Because of this, Administration officials are asking nursing homes to make those preparations they can, including ordering supplies for point of care devices. For those facilities that have CLIA waivers for Point of Care (POC) machines, facilities are urged to stock supplies to assist in the event of an outbreak or in the event state supplies received fall short of need. Please contact Kathryn Brod at kbrod@leadingageohio.org should you have difficulty accessing POC supplies. LeadingAge Ohio strongly encourages assisted living providers who do not currently have a CLIA waiver to begin the straightforward application process.

Adult Day Subcommittee meets with ODA

On Friday, November 13, the LeadingAge Ohio Adult Day Subcommittee met with leaders from the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) to discuss challenges the sector has faced in recent weeks as providers struggle to reopen amid stringent requirements. Highlights of the discussion include:

  • ODA requested providers still encountering challenges securing a physician order for testing to share this information with LeadingAge Ohio to elevate to the state. ODA noted that the physician order was a federal requirement for the CARES Act funding, as well as important for the laboratory’s accreditation requirements.  However, ODA would like to assist in locating other local providers and entities that may be willing to provide the order. Providers struggling with physician orders should reach out to Susan Wallace at swallace@leadingageohio.org.

  • ODA noted that they have made no decisions related to closures, should Ohio cases continue to rise sharply. In discussing their decisionmaking, they acknowledged that Ohio is in a much different situation now than it was in the spring, and we now know much more about the virus and infection control measures to keep the virus at bay.

  • ODA shared the frustrations of subcommittee members that more providers were unable to apply for relief funds during the window for applications. While they are working under the December 31 deadline prescribed by the CARES Act, they share LeadingAge Ohio’s hope that the window for these expenditures may be extended by Congress.

LeadingAge Ohio’s Adult Day Subcommittee serves to inform the Advocacy Committee, and also serves as an important place for adult day members to share their struggles and solutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To nominate yourself or other for service on any of LeadingAge Ohio’s committees, please reach out to Jennifer Taylor, Director of Member Experience, at jtaylor@leadingageohio.org.

Self-insured organizations: Please send contact info

Is your facility self-insuring your employees’ health insurance program? If so, please contact COVID19@leadingageohio.org with the key contact name for your organization regarding your program and “Self-Insured” in the subject line. 

In July, the state of Ohio confirmed that it would assist self-insured congregate care facilities to cover the cost of testing, however no details were forthcoming. In recent days, Administration officials confirmed that the state is developing a plan to pay for testing expenses incurred by organizations that have self-insured programs. As the state finalizes the details of reimbursement, organizations who are self-insured are encouraged to organize invoices (invoices paid and waiting to be paid) that reflect testing expenses incurred since mandated testing began. The state is creating a mechanism to collect required information and LeadingAge Ohio’s list of self-insured members will streamline communication, once the state begins releasing the program’s details. 

LeadingAge Ohio urges families to not bring loved ones home for Thanksgiving gathering

In a letter written to family and friends of aging Ohioans, LeadingAge Ohio President/CEO Kathryn Brod implored Ohioans to think twice before bringing their aging loved one to their family Thanksgiving meal.  In the message, she acknowledged that those that have been separated from their loved ones feel “grief, anxiety, and bone-deep fatigue” and noted, “We know you have made sacrifices to preserve the safety of strangers and for that we are deeply, humbly grateful.”

Brod asked family members to not give into the fatigue now, however, particularly as cases soar statewide. Instead, the letter offers ways to bring Mom or Dad home for the meal safety, including planning a very small, more intimate meal before a larger family gathering and ensuring all individuals quarantine and are tested for COVID-19.

LeadingAge Ohio members are encouraged to share the letter with the families they serve, as part of their education efforts focused on mitigating the surge of COVID-19 in their communities.

LeadingAge bestows the Award of Honor for 2020... And it's you!

Every year, LeadingAge bestows the Award of Honor on an individual from within its membership who has provided nationally significant, transformative leadership in aging services. This person shows vision, mission, compassion, and courage every day of the year.

LeadingAge President and CEO, Katie Smith Sloan, had the privilege to announce that this year’s Award of Honor recipient would not be just one person; instead, this year’s award of honor is bestowed upon every staff member of every member of LeadingAge. Every State-Testing Nursing Assistant (STNA), housekeeper, service coordinator, dining server, cook, nurse, therapist, dishwasher, social worker, and every administrator, manager, and receptionist. Everyone. Your dedication keeps people thriving, families together, and communities intact. 

LeadingAge Ohio strongly urges all reading Today’s COVID-19 Report to take a moment and watch this video, and also strongly urges you to share with your fellow colleagues.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – November 16, 2020

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured a message from LeadingAge President and CEO, Katie Smith Sloan.

Check out the full report here.

 

                Linkage                         Buerger


Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members.  To participate in these daily online updates, members should register here.  

LeadingAge Ohio is working to ensure that the information in our daily alerts, on our website, and all coronavirus-related communications is as accurate as possible. However, LeadingAge Ohio makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information. 

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.