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COVID-19 info for Assisted Living Providers
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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information and Resources for Assisted Living Providers

WALA continues to be your advocate in providing resources to work through this public health situation.  We are committed to delivering the most up-to-date information as circumstances continue to develop.

 

DHS Update Regarding Visitation

 

The Department of Health Services has issued an update regarding visitation in Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities. The DHS is continuing to recommend that Assisted Living Providers continue to restrict visitation of all non-essential visitors and health care providers. Some exceptions to this guidance would include end of life scenarios and essential care by other health care professionals. 

 

Additionally, the DHS is recommending that providers continue to be meticulous with communication updates to resident family members and guardians. You can learn more about the DHS COVID-19 guidance for Assisted Living Providers here

 

 

 

Update for COVID-19 Testing

  

Through our continuing discussions with the Department of Health Services (DHS) leadership, assisted living facilities that  are able to obtain a prescribing order from a physician and employ or contract with a nurse (RN or LPN) who can administer testing  are now eligible to receive COVID-19 testing supplies from the state of Wisconsin. More important details on this testing option.

 

DHS Division of Medicaid Services Releases New FAQ's  - released April 16th

 

DHS Releases Revised Recommendations for All LTC and AL Facilities

 

On March 20, 2020, DHS released revised recommendations for all long term and assisted living facilities in Wisconsin.  Older and medically vulnerable adults have significantly increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, necessitating that we take all reasonable efforts to prevent introduction of this infectious disease into residential care facilities.

These recommendations apply to facilities caring for patients who are elderly and/or have chronic medical conditions placing them at high risk of severe complications of COVID-19. This guidance will be evaluated and updated 30 days from issuance.  You can read the entire memo by clicking here.

 

Sign up for email updates from DHS on this emerging situation here.


UPDATED April 14, 2020:

BOALTC Memo re: COVID-19, Visitation and Long-Term Care Communities

Attn: Nursing Home and Assisted Living Providers

On April 14, 2020, the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC) further updated the memo previously issued on March 20, 2020:  COVID-19, Visitation and Long-Term Care Communities which provides important guidance for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

[BOALTC] is retracting the Memo dated April 13, 2020.  Please see the revised Memo linked above, dated April 14, 2020.  Our Memo providing recommendations regarding "window visits" in Long Term Care communities was an attempt to respond to numerous accounts we have received of individuals visiting long-term care residents outside of windows, yet having contact such as kissing through a screen, hugging through an open window and not maintaining social distancing.  This was also an attempt to respond to concerns for residents with dementia who are confused when visitors they do not know may be looking inside their windows or visiting at nighttime.  We did not intent to recommend prohibiting allowed essential activities such as waving to a resident through a closed window or providing care essential to someone's health and safety.  We apologize for any confusion.

People who live in our nursing homes, assisted living communities and the staff and caregivers are at highest risk. When a COVID-19 case occurs in a long-term care setting, the potential for rapid spread can be extremely high and life-threatening. Given the growing public health emergency, we are recommending the following, effective immediately:

  • Comply with Governor’s Emergency Order #12, “Safer at Home,” and do not leave your long-term care community or your home for anything but essential needs, such as getting groceries and picking up medications. If you are over age 65 or have a chronic health condition, please ask if another person can manage these tasks for you to minimize your time out of your home.
  • If you are a resident, please stay where you are. When you go into the community you run an increasingly high risk of bringing COVID-19 back into your long-term care home with you, potentially infecting other vulnerable residents and staff.

If you are a resident, please stay where you are. When you go into the community you run an increasingly high risk of bringing COVID-19 back into your long-term care home with you, potentially infecting other vulnerable residents and staff.

Residents still have the right to access the Ombudsman Program with the Board on Aging and Long Term Care. Do not hesitate to contact them with questions or concerns.

The BOALTC can be reached by phone at 1-800-815-0015, via e-mail at BOALTC@wisconsin.gov or online at http://longtermcare.wi.gov/.


DHS Health Alert Network (HAN) is now activated

Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has established the HAN to facilitate dissemination of frequently changing guidance and recommendations, and to provide critical COVID-19 updates to health care, public health, and other governmental partners. The HAN will be the primary method for sharing time-sensitive public health information with partners during the COVID-19 response. Health care providers and other officials engaged in the COVID-19 response have been automatically subscribed to the HAN.  Individuals can subscribe and unsubscribe using their preferred email address at the DHS COVID-19 website .

 

For the latest information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the links below:


General Information on COVID-19

Video and Webinar Resources

Assisted Living Specific Resources

Other Links and Resources on COVID-19

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Resources

 

Currently, all PPE requests will go through county or tribal emergency management. Each county or tribe will develop its own process and timeline for accepting these requests.  You do not have to have a COVID-19 positive individual to request PPE from your county or tribal emergency manager. 

 

Locate your local health department here.  Locate your county Emergency Management Director here.

Providers should contact the State's Emergency Function Line at 608-888-5318 with any questions.

 

If you are a facility that is currently treating one or more COVID-19 positive individuals, however, please continue to follow the PPE Reserve Request Process listed below:

Reinhart Legal Resources

 

Child Care for Healthcare Workers

Connecting Essential Workforce Families to Child Care

  • The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has launched two new tools to help connect essential workforce families to local, safe child care. Healthcare workers and essential employees are now able to submit a request for care through the department’s updated Child Care Finder or proactively view up-to-date availability across the state using the department’s new child care map

    DCF is working with health care providers, child care centers, community organizations like YMCAs, schools, and other partners to open emergency child care centers for essential workforce families. New centers will be opened as demand for child care increases. DCF has provided guidance and resources for organizations interested in opening child care centers.

    To ensure the safety of families and child care setting staff, DCF has developed a list of tips for parents to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    For any questions regarding this effort, please contact dcfmbcovid19@wisconsin.gov.

  • Regional Map with Contact Information

Small Business Resources

Employment Resources

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