The notoriously mismanaged California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is back in the news again for all of the wrong reasons. Not only has the Department now acknowledged that it has failed to regularly test for COVID-19 the inspectors surveying nursing facilities with outbreaks of the virus, but it has embarked upon a sweeping plan to undermine the independence and reliability of its own inspection program at a time when nursing home residents need rigorous enforcement most.
By Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, July 27 2020Photos by Gabrielle Lurie State, feds stepped in with training, protocols and action plan for largest nursing home in California In the early days of the pandemic, the prospect of a deadly coronavirus surge at Laguna Honda nursing home in San Francisco seemed terrifying — and inevitable. The public health department that ran Laguna Honda, the largest nursing home in the state, wasn’t equipped to handle a surge of cases at the facility.
AFL 20-62 From the California Department of Public Health July 25, 2020 TO: Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) Intermediate Care Facilities/Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD) Intermediate Care Facilities/Developmentally Disabled – Habilitative (ICF/DD-H) Intermediate Care Facilities/Developmentally Disabled – Nursing (ICF/DD-N) Intermediate Care Facilities/Developmentally Disabled – Continuous Nursing (ICF/DD-CN) SUBJECT: ICF Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Daily Reporting AUTHORITY: Proclamation of Emergency (PDF) Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 483.420 Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations sections 73539, 76551 and 76923 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL requests all ICFs, ICF/DDs, ICF/DD-Hs, ICF/DD-Ns, and ICF/DD-CNs (facilities) report COVID-19 facility data daily to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) via an online survey.
By the LAist, July 24 2020 Coronavirus test tubes. Courtesy of the County of Los Angeles. Despite requiring routine COVID-19 testing for nursing home residents and workers, state nursing home inspectors are not being tested. A report by the Los Angeles Times calls into question whether these inspectors could be inadvertently spreading the virus as they travel between skilled nursing facilities to verify the safety and hygiene of those same facilities.
By Jack Dolan and Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, July 24 2020 California health officials have required COVID-19 testing of residents and employees at nursing homes, such as this one in Reseda, but have not provided comprehensive testing to their own inspectors who regularly visit the facilities.(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times) Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, California health officials have required nursing homes to bar entry to outsiders who might bring the coronavirus in with them and trigger a deadly outbreak among the elderly, vulnerable residents.
By Barbara Feder Ostrov and Jocelyn Wiener, Cal Matters, July 23 2020 Caroline Harrison, left, Jackson Harrison Shirk, 11, right, and his mother, Virginia Harrison, far right, visit with Jackson’s grandmother, Debbie, center, at The Chaparral House, the Berkeley skilled nursing facility where Debbie has lived for the past three years. Debbie, who family members refer to as mama bear, suffers from dementia and is largely unresponsive during her family’s near-daily socially distant visits.
Outdoor visitation is now required in California nursing homes but many facilities have not gotten the memo. Here is a sample letter to use to distribute the memo and get outdoor visits for nursing home residents.
By Yael Halon, Fox News, July 22 2020 As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Americans are embracing a new “normal” and trying to adapt to everyday life in a time of fear and uncertainty. But for children with an autism spectrum disorder — which affects about one in 54 children in the U.S., according to federal estimates — adjusting to change presents a far greater challenge, as has been the case for 26-year-old Billy Caulley.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 22, 2020 Contact: CMS Media Relations (202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries Trump Administration Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19 President Trump today announced several new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). “From the moment the threat of this virus materialized, the Trump Administration has placed a priority on protecting nursing home residents,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
By Jill Castelano, inewsource, July 22 2020 Empty chairs are shown in the living area of Aury’s Home Care in Chula Vista on July 19, 2020. Three residents at the assisted living facility have died from COVID-19. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource) Behind the doors of a spacious house in Chula Vista, Aury McDaniel was caring for six residents when the coronavirus pandemic struck this year.