Plan to Reopen Nursing Homes – Testing Staff and Residents for Covid -19

by admin

Plan to Reopen Nursing Homes – Testing Staff and Residents for Covid -19

by admin

by admin

CMS recommends nursing homes do not advance through any of the stages of reopening

or relax any restrictions until all residents and staff have received a baseline test to establish that there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the facility,” CMS administrator Seema Verma said on a call with reporters. “In addition to the baseline test, we are calling on nursing homes to screen all staff daily and test them weekly. Further testing of residents may be necessary upon identification of coronavirus symptoms.”

The factors CMS listed to inform the relaxation of restrictions on skilled nursing facilities include:

  1. A community’s case status 
  2. A nursing home’s case status
  3. Adequate staffing
  4. Local hospital capacity
  5. Universal source control — i.e. residents and visitors wearing face masks or face coverings
  6. Access to adequate testing
  7. Access to sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE)

Due to the elevated risk COVID-19 poses to nursing home residents and staff  the recommendation includes additional “criteria for advancing through phases of reopening nursing homes than is recommended in the broader administration’s Opening Up America Again framework,” CMS wrote.

These additional criteria include states surveying SNFs that “experienced a significant COVID-19 outbreak prior to reopening” to make sure the facility is preventing transmission.

In essence, a nursing home’s opening needs to lag behind the general community’s reopening by 14 days, according to the guidance

Please refer to the CMS Memorandum Summary here:

CMS Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations for State and Local Officials

(please refer to for the latest updates)

“My prayers are with all skilled nursing facility staff, residents, and families as we continue to face the horrific crisis. This has definitely proven to be one the most challenging times yet”
Susan Tucker Clinical Reimbursement Specialist/Master MDS Virtual Trainer 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *