AMDA Releases Guidance on COVID-19 in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Medicine is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak and today released guidance for PALTC facilities.
It includes the following recommendations:
- Given the rare presence of COVID-19 in the community, healthcare personnel suspecting a case of COVID-19 should contact their local and/or state public health department for guidance on management.
- In addition to CDC’s recommendation that healthcare personnel wear a gown, gloves, facemask, and goggles or a face shield, AMDA recommends “frequent hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub or soap or water, washing for at least 20 seconds.”
- Since most PALTC facilities will not have airborne isolation rooms (often called negative pressure rooms), if an individual meets the CDC case definition of a suspected case and an airborne isolation room is not immediately available, we recommend facilities place the individual in a single room with a closed door pending consultation with their local health department.
- Because healthcare personnel reside in the community and work in facilities, they have the potential to introduce infections into PALTC populations. Healthcare personnel who are ill should stay home and seek healthcare advice through their regular provider. Those with mild symptoms are encouraged to call, rather than going in person, for medical advice.
- Signs should be posted requesting that people with acute respiratory illness refrain from entering the PALTC facility. This applies whether or not there is COVID-19 activity in the community.
“While the CDC has publicly deemed the health risk of COVID-19 to be low at this time for the general American public, the health, safety, and well-being of the PALTC community is our highest priority,” says AMDA Executive Director Christopher E. Laxton, CAE. Since older adults and patients with comorbid conditions are at increased risk for more severe illness, “Our members have been reaching out to us, and this interim guidance provides timely and valuable information.”
AMDA consulted with CDC in developing this guidance, and with this rapidly evolving outbreak, urges all PALTC stakeholders to regularly refer to the CDC website.
About the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit www.paltc.org for more information.