The Biden Administration announced a COVID-19 Winter Preparedness Plan. The plan expands access to testing, vaccines and treatments, preparing for the impact of variants, cases and hospitalizations in local communities, and protecting the most-high risk Americans, including residents of nursing homes and other congregate living facilities. Strategies identified that impact the LTC community include:
- Releasing a winter playbook for nursing homes and LTC facilities. The playbook will summarize actions facilities can take to reduce serious illness, prevent hospitalizations and deaths, and minimize disruptions. This will focus on increasing vaccinations, ensuring timely use of treatments and improving indoor air quality.
- Expanding the pool of providers that may administer the COVID-19 vaccine. As a result of advocacy by AHCA/NCAL, CDC is updating the pharmacy provider agreements to allow nursing home staff to administer the vaccine. HHS is also working with states and QIO’s to help facilitate vaccine clinics.
- Reaching out to governors on how nursing homes in their state are doing with resident vaccination rates.
- Encouraging hospitals to vaccinate patients before discharge. As a result of advocacy by AHCA/NCAL, Secretary Beccerra has called on the hospitals to vaccinate patients prior to discharge to LTC settings.
This is part of the Biden Administration’s focus on reducing the impact of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses this winter season.