Today's COVID-19 Alert: CDC Releases New Guidance, PPE Burn Rate Calculator
Today's COVID-19 Alert:
CDC Releases New Guidance, PPE Burn Rate Calculator
Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Thursday, March 26 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC Releases New Guidance, PPE Burn Rate Calculator
On Wednesday, March 25, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released numerous updates to guidance for healthcare providers, outlined below.
- Allowance for self- or healthcare worker-collected nasal swabs as an acceptable specimen type if NP swab is not possible
- Allowance for self- or healthcare worker-collected nasal turbinate swabs as an acceptable specimen type if NP swab is not possible
- Updated infection control link to COVID-specific guidance
The CDC included two checklists that identify actions that can be taken now to enhance preparedness for potential or confirmed patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19):
The CDC also released a personal protective equipment (PPE) burn rate calculator, a spreadsheet-based model that provides information for healthcare facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This tool can also be used for planning PPE use outside the context of COVID-19, where PPE shortages may also occur due to supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 response (e.g. manufacturing facilities).
NAHC Hospice Webinar: How Hospice Inpatient Units are Preparing for and Responding to the Threat of COVID-19: A Community Conversation -- Friday, March 27 at 11 a.m.
Hospices are facing tremendous challenges as they work to continue providing vital end-of-life care under the threat of COVID-19. Hospice organizations throughout the nation that operate their own inpatient units are moving with great speed to ensure the continued comfort and safety of some of the most vulnerable of hospice patients – those that are receiving general inpatient care (GIP) and inpatient respite care (IRC). Join NAHC for a FREE one-hour session during which an expert panel will discuss what their organizations are doing to prepare their facilities and facility staff for COVID-19, followed by a question and answer session. Click here to register for the call webinar.
Partners Helping with PPE Shortage
We are grateful to LeadingAge Ohio partners Value First and Link-age Solutions for helping members address PPE shortages. Both of these group purchasing organizations (GPO) are designed for aging services providers.
Each LeadingAge Ohio member's primary contact was sent an email this morning by Corey Markham regarding a potential opportunity regarding PPE. Click here to access the information shared in that email.
Licensing Boards Waive CE Requirements
Ohio’s professional licensing boards have issued the following waivers related to CE and other licensing and license renewal processes.
Board of Executives of Long-term Services and Supports (BELTSS)
- Waiving the CE requirement for April 1 and July 1 renewals. Licensees still must complete the application & payment;
- Allowing unlimited CEs through self-study & distance learning until December 3, but the courses must still be NAB or BELTSS approved to be applied to the renewal;
- Encouraging AIT programs to continue as scheduled based on the preceptor's and the AIT's willingness to proceed; permitting an extension of up to 6 months to complete the AIT hours without submitting a formal request to the Board.
Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN)
- Ohio law allows nurses with licenses in other states to practice during declared emergencies.
- Temporary permits authorize nurses to begin practicing in Ohio within 3 business days or less of the Board’s receipt of an application for reciprocity.
- While PearsonVue (NCLEX testing) temporarily closed sites, the OBN is working to identify alternate sites.
State Medical Board of Ohio
- From March 9, 2020 - March 1, 2021, the Board will suspend enforcement of CE requirements for all license renewals, including physicians. This does not excuse the legal requirement for CE; the Board is only suspending enforcement. Licensees who do not complete their required CE by the time of their renewal should indicate that on their license renewal and enforcement will not be taken.
- The Board will partner with regional Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs) as needed to license out of state physicians.
Counselor, Social Work & Marriage & Family Therapist Board
- The Board will allow licensees whose licenses are due to be renewed between March 9, 2020 and December 1, 2020 an extension which will end on December 1, 2020.
CPR Certifications Extended by American Heart Association
The American Heart Association has extended certification renewals for CPR for 60 days after the date of expiration for healthcare employees.
Background Checks - Can Your Organization Help?
Some LeadingAge Ohio members are struggling to get background checks processed due to closures in their communities, including local sheriff's offices. LeadingAge Ohio wants to offer BCI technology sharing between our members.
If you have equipment to complete background checks and are able to assist other members, please forward your contact information to Karen Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org who will coordinate connections between members.
New Insights and Tools From LeadingAge
LeadingAge is developing essential guidance and tools related to COVID-19 and curating the most relevant resources for aging services providers.
Take a look at some new resources from LeadingAge:
- CMS Hosts National Nursing Homes Call
- CMS Holds COVID-19 Call for PACE Organizations
- Up In The Air: How Coronavirus Lives in the Air and On Surfaces
- Template Letter Regarding Foreclosure Relief
Updated Ohio Statistics
Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton confirmed 867 positive COVID-19 cases statewide, resulting in 223 hospitalizations in 60 counties. To date, 11% have required intensive care and there have been 15 deaths. Acton shared that the age range in ICU is 23 to 92. Over 17,000 Ohioans have been tested for COVID-19.
17% of cases have been healthcare workers, and Acton noted that one northwest Ohio health department had exposure and had multiple staff under quarantine. She said that part of the planning underway is to create redundancy in staffing in order to ensure back-up functioning for our healthcare system.
Acton showed modeling of Ohio’s projected surge, and stated that projections demonstrate that the dramatic actions taken have led to a 50 to 75% decreased impact on the healthcare system. She stressed that the more we delay the surge, the more likely we can acquire equipment, develop treatments, and put the state in a better place to respond.
Acton shared that projected PPE needs would have required 65 times typical usage rates, but with conservation techniques, Ohio’s needs will now be only 40 times normal usage. COVID-19 hospitalizations can last up to 20 days, not necessarily the short time frame that many hospitals are accustomed to.
In responding to questions related to the Miami County assisted living cluster, she noted that Director Corcoran has been working to prepare nursing homes with protocols to address active COVID-19 infections, and discussed how to determine transfers to hospitals. LeadingAge Ohio staff and several LeadingAge Ohio member representatives have been engaged in these discussions.
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.