Texas HHSC COVID-19 Emergency Rule for ALF Providers Extended
The emergency rule related to COVID-19 vaccination data reporting in assisted living facilities has been extended. The extension took effect on May 11 and will expire on July 9, 2021.
Read the ALF Vaccination Data Reporting Emergency Rule (PDF) at https://hhs.texas.
Vaccine Information & Resources
Texas HHSC Jan. 13 Recording of NF/ALF Vaccination Reporting Requirements Webinar
Access the webinar at this link:
Husch Blackwell presentation on legal concerns for employers wanting to mandate vaccination for staff
Thomas Barker, Foley Hoag paper on the current legal landscape from our national partner, Argentum
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine tool kit for improving staff and resident confidence
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine PowerPoint on Vaccine Education
EEOC COVID-19 & Vaccines FAQs resource page: https://www.eeoc.gov/
Requesting Personal Protective Equipment
Responding to COVID-19 has put an enormous strain on the country’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, gloves and gowns. Because of the national shortage and prioritization of PPE to acute care settings, long-term care facilities are feeling the pinch. HHSC has an informative website (https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news/2020/03/resources-ltc-providers-request-ppe) specifically for long-term care providers. All communities must attempt to purchase necessary PPE through private distributors. Save copies of emails and responses, because the documentation will be necessary for requesting any PPE from the strategic national stockpile.
The Department of State Health Services is utilizing the state’s 22 Regional Advisory Councils to manage PPE shortages. Assisted Living Communities may request PPEs from their local RACs (find contact information here: https://dshs.texas.gov/emstraumasystems/etrarac.shtm). Long-term care providers need to use the State of Texas Assistance Request (STAR) process, and prioritization for PPE distribution.
The Center for Disease Control put out advice for medical providers regarding the conservation of PPE. Find that information here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html
Changes for Nurses
Governor Greg Abbott has announced several initiatives to increase the pool of nurses able to respond to COVID-19. The Texas Board of Nursing has a webpage dedicated to the changes (https://www.bon.texas.gov/COVID-19.asp).
The City of Austin has announced new control measures for all assisted living communities and nursing homes. Beginning immediately, communities will screen all residents, employees, visitors, and volunteers for elevated temperatures prior to entering the community. http://www.austintexas.gov/news/control-order-issued-combat-spread-covid-19-among-vulnerable-populations
To stay up to date on the Houston area:
City of Houston Health Department :
Harris County Health:
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE LINKS
- Texas Governor Executive Order GA-38 Relating to the the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster
- OSHA ETS in affect- New OSHA Requirements titled Emergency Temporary Standards for Healthcare including Assisted Living.
- CDC guidance on infection prevention and source control for health care providers
Holiday Visitation Presentation by Carmen Tilton, TALA VP of Public Policy
COVID-19 Emergency Rules - §553.2001 & §553.2003
Texas Department of Emergency Management - Interactive map for finding testing resources: https://tdem.texas.gov
As of 5/11/2021 ALF Provider Letters:
- PL 2020-53 Guidance for Activities, Dining and Volunteers
- PL 2020-50 Influenza (Flu Vaccine Guidance During COVID-19
- PL 2020-48 Transferring COVID-19 Positive Residents
- PL 2020-46 Reporting Guidance for LTC Providers
- PL 2021-12 COVID-19 Response - Expansion of Reopening Visitation March 26, 2021
CMS/CDC COVID-19 trainings are available:
Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Staff and Management
CMS/CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Management
CMS/CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management -Bi-weekly Live Q&A Sessions
Provider Letter 20-38: https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/providers/communications/2020/letters/PL2020-38.pdf
Direct Links to COVID-19 Local Health Entities DSHS webpage: https://www.dshs.
Ready to print public awareness materials are available on the TxDSHS and CDC websites.
CDC example signs for use outside resident room doors for Contact Precautions, Droplet Precautions, and Airborne Precautions
Texas.gov has posted a link to help Front Line workers find child care and support in their area. Please click on this link to access: https://frontlinechildcare.
Texas HHSC & DSHS Publish LTC COVID-19 Vaccination Options
Types of Testing for COVID-19 - Texas Department of State & Health Services
Texas Department of State Health Services - Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Texas HHSC Emergency Preparedness rules & regulations for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities
COVID-19 Healthcare Planning Checklist
CDC guidance on implementing recommended infection prevention practices FREE online course - The Nursing Home Infection Preventionzist Training: https://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/training.html
World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Health Care Coalitions across the US for emergency disaster response:
TALA will continue to monitor and provide updates to state, large county and large city orders. However, things are changing at a very rapid pace. We implore providers to follow the posted links to check for updates and to check for orders in smaller counties and cities.