Wednesday, April 8, 2020

CDC Issues Report on Assisted Living COVID Experience in Seattle

CMS released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) last week (April 3) on an assisted living and independent living community in Seattle related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The report found that early intervention, increased social distancing among residents, and less contact with health care providers were possibly effective at minimizing the spread of the virus in an assisted living setting. More specifically:
  • residents were isolated in their rooms with no communal meals or activities
  • no visitors were allowed in the facility staff members were screened and symptomatic
  • staff members were excluded from entering
  • enhanced hygiene practices were put into effect, including cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and additional hand hygiene stations in hallways for workers to use

Among the 142 residents and staff members tested during the initial phase, three of 80 residents (3.8%) and two of 62 staff members (3.2%) had positive test results.

The report also found that symptom screening is unlikely to be sufficient to identify all persons infected. Three of four residents who had positive test results were asymptomatic.

All assisted living providers are strongly encouraged to review CDC guidance for LTC Facilities as well as AHCA/NCAL’s guidance for ALs on limiting the spread of COVID-19, and are encouraged to minimize the number of interactions with residents by reducing the number of various (non-essential) people entering the building, targeting the number of interactions with residents, and instituting non-communal dining.

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