Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

July 8, 2021

LTC COVID-19 Cases Down to 106. This week's Department of Health dashboard for COVID-19 cases in long-term care (LTC) facilities continues its precipitous drop that began in December. The latest weekly total of current cases for all facilities, through Tuesday, is 106 cases. Fifty-one of them are residents and 55 staff. Daily cases among the general public, though, have fluctuated over the last few days, from 210 on Monday to 190 on Tuesday to 317 yesterday to 377 today. The 21-day average is 249.

State Visitation Dashboard Gone. It seems like only yesterday that the Department of Aging made a major push for all SNFs and assisted living communities to update their visitation policies on the state's dashboard or to enter them for the first time. We reported when Director Health Stephanie McCloud rescinded the visitation orders on June 18 that her action removed the requirement to populate the dashboard. Sometime between then and now, the state quietly confirmed that the requirement no longer applies by taking down the dashboard and its explanatory companion. These items still can be found in archived dashboards, but clearly no longer serve any public notification purpose.

SNF Budget Webinar Materials Available. Not COVID-19-related, but for anyone who missed today's OHCA webinar on the state budget's impact on SNFs or who would like to have access to the materials, we posted them after the program. While we were unable to capture the video recording, we did obtain an audio recording and also posted the slides. Please contact Pete Van Runkle if you have questions on this subject.

AHCA/NCAL Requests Delay of OSHA ETS Enforcement, Urges Member Comments (from AHCA/NCAL, with edits). AHCA/NCAL sent a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requesting they delay compliance on their recently released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and extend the comment period. ? 

Employers were expected to comply with?most of? these standards by July 6, 2021. There are exceptions to the sections on physical barriers, ventilation, and training, with which employers must?comply?by July 21, 2021.? AHCA/NCAL has requested at least an additional six months for compliance. While many of these standards are already in place in provider’s communities, some of the new standards require a level of resources many facilities do not currently have available and will take extended time to fully implement.  

Additionally, AHCA/NCAL requested OHSA extend the comment deadline by an additional 30 days, through August 20, to gather member input and provide adequate feedback.  

Members are encouraged to review the new resources provided by OSHA to help with ETS compliance.

As of now, the comment deadline remains in place, so AHCA/NCAL is asking members to submit comments before the July 21 deadline. Comments may be submitted online here. Attached please find a Power Point presentation with details about the ETS. Priority areas outlined in the Power Point to include in comments are:

  • Recognizing Good Faith Efforts
  • Reporting to Other Employers
  • Consistent Guidance
  • Supports through Consultation

Undoubtedly members also will wish to comment on OSHA's medical removal leave requirement, especially for employees who choose to decline the COVID-19 vaccine.