Expert Guidance on Managing COVID-19 in Skilled Nursing Facilities Released

July 23, 2020

An article in the July issue of JAMDA details new expert consensus recommendations for managing COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Specifically, the document addresses screening of residents and staff, management of COVID-19 positive and presumed positive cases, communication during an outbreak, management of admissions and readmissions, and providing emotional support for staff.

In Policy Recommendations Regarding Skilled Nursing Facility Management of COVID-19: Lessons from New York State, the authors noted, “Managing COVID-19 in this setting is uniquely challenging because the SNF serves both as a home and a medical facility.” Without periodic widespread testing of all employees and visitors entering the facility, they observed, “It will be difficult to recognize when there is COVID-19 in the facility prior to its spread.”

The authors stressed the urgency of providing guidance to facilities and practitioners. They stated, “Older adults have high mortality rates from COVID-19, and those in SNFs are at higher risk because of frailty, medical conditions, and need for assistance with activities of daily living… Research is needed into transmission patterns and to patient factors impacting individual outcomes.”

These consensus guidelines have been endorsed by the executive board of the New York Medical Directors Association and the Board of the Metropolitan Area Geriatrics Society. The authors noted that the information in this document is based on current knowledge and research as of May 22, 2020, and that their recommendations shouldn’t take precedence over New York or other local Department of Health (DOH) or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

This study was conducted by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine, Mineola, NY; University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; University of Rochester Medicine Geriatrics Group Geriatric Medicine/Palliative Care, Rochester, NY; Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Commack, NY; and United Hebrew, New Rochelle, NY.

Click here or more information on the findings above and more details about the study. To contact the researchers or JAMDA editor for an interview, please email



JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit for more information.

About AMDA – 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 for more information.