8/23/2021 FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine; Pfizer Vaccine now referred to as Comirnaty.
Texas HHSC COVID-19 Emergency Rule for ALF Providers Extended
The emergency rule related to COVID-19 vaccination data reporting in assisted living facilities has been extended. The extension took effect on May 11 and will expire on July 9, 2021.
Read the ALF Vaccination Data Reporting Emergency Rule (PDF) at https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/doing-business-with-hhs/provider-portal/long-term-care/alf/alf-covid-19-vaccination-data-reporting-emergency-rule.pdf
Texas HHSC - ALF Visitation Comparison Table as of 4/12/2021
Vaccine Information & Resources
8/18/2021 FDA Allows Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose for Certain Immunocompromised. Learn more at:
Texas HHSC Jan. 13 Recording of NF/ALF Vaccination Reporting Requirements Webinar
Access the webinar at this link:
Husch Blackwell presentation on legal concerns for employers wanting to mandate vaccination for staff
Thomas Barker, Foley Hoag paper on the current legal landscape from our national partner, Argentum
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine tool kit for improving staff and resident confidence
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine PowerPoint on Vaccine Education
EEOC COVID-19 & Vaccines FAQs resource page: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
Requesting Personal Protective Equipment
Responding to COVID-19 has put an enormous strain on the country’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, gloves and gowns. Because of the national shortage and prioritization of PPE to acute care settings, long-term care facilities are feeling the pinch. HHSC has an informative website (https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news/2020/03/resources-ltc-providers-request-ppe) specifically for long-term care providers. All communities must attempt to purchase necessary PPE through private distributors. Save copies of emails and responses, because the documentation will be necessary for requesting any PPE from the strategic national stockpile.
The Department of State Health Services is utilizing the state’s 22 Regional Advisory Councils to manage PPE shortages. Assisted Living Communities may request PPEs from their local RACs (find contact information here: https://dshs.texas.gov/emstraumasystems/etrarac.shtm). Long-term care providers need to use the State of Texas Assistance Request (STAR) process, and prioritization for PPE distribution.
The Center for Disease Control put out advice for medical providers regarding the conservation of PPE. Find that information here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html
Changes for Nurses
Governor Greg Abbott has announced several initiatives to increase the pool of nurses able to respond to COVID-19. The Texas Board of Nursing has a webpage dedicated to the changes (https://www.bon.texas.gov/COVID-19.asp).
The City of Austin has announced new control measures for all assisted living communities and nursing homes. Beginning immediately, communities will screen all residents, employees, visitors, and volunteers for elevated temperatures prior to entering the community. http://www.austintexas.gov/news/control-order-issued-combat-spread-covid-19-among-vulnerable-populations
To stay up to date on the Houston area:
City of Houston Health Department :
Harris County Health:
NIH (National Institute of Health)