Risk at Long-Term FacilitiesThroughout the COVID-19 pandemic, among those facing the highest risk are individuals living in long-term care facilities (LTC). As cases, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased and vaccinations have increased, DHSS’ Division of Health Care Quality has worked with the LTC facilities to resume indoor visitation at eligible facilities and to verify that all facilities have strong screening, infection and isolation measures in place. In addition, the Division of Public Health asks LTCs with questions or concerns to email DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call 1-866-408-1899, press ext. 2.
Face Masks Continue to Be Required at Long-Term Care Facilities
Face masks are still required of staff, vendors, contractors, and visitors to the facility, regardless of vaccination status. If a resident and visitor are both fully vaccinated, they do not have to wear a face mask only when they are visiting in a private area such as a patient’s room. Signage is available here for facilities to educate staff, contractors, and visitors of this requirement: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/restrictions/printable-signs/.
Order of the Department of Health and Social Services
The Department of Health and Social Services has broad authority over long term care facilities and is responsible for overseeing the health and welfare of residents. This order was approved on October 27, 2021.
Governor’s Order on Long-Term Care Facilities
Facilities serving older adults, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted-living facilities, hospice providers, and rehabilitation facilities with older patients must follow the guidelines in the Public Health Emergency Declarations.
All skilled and intermediate nursing care facilities assisted living facilities and rest residential facilities must use the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance to govern visitation. The CMS guidance can be found at: QSO-20-39-NH REVISED (cms.gov)
Governor Announces Universal Testing in Long-Term Care Facilities
Staff at long-term care facilities are required to be tested by the testing guidance set forth by the Division of Public Health (DPH).
DPH provided facilities with tests, testing supplies, training, and support for the universal testing program to protect the most vulnerable Delawareans. Expanding COVID-19 testing capacity for vulnerable populations is a requirement of federal guidance for economic reopening.
Public health experts at DPH will support clinicians at long-term care facilities with the new testing program. DPH will provide guidance on testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic persons and the interpretation of results. DPH will also provide recommendations to protect residents and staff based on results, including transmission-based precautions, isolation, and patient and staff management strategies.
- DPH COVID-19 Training 040521 (PowerPoint)
- PAC Medical Director Training
- Testing Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities (06.2.22)
- Training Presentation: Mandatory Testing by Curative (6.3.20)
- Designation of Primary Facility SAMPLE FORM (6.3.20)
- Get Tested to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 (6.17.20) – English
- Get Tested to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 (6.17.20) – Spanish
- Get Tested to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 (6.17.20) – Haitian-Creole
- Long-Term Care Residents Consent Declination Form (6.24.20)
- SHOC Resource Request Form LTC Testing (11.16.21)
- DPHL Vendor Testing Agreement Form (11.06.20)
- Rapid Antigen Testing Protocols (1.8.21)
- COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing For Long-Term Care Facilities
- COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing for Congregate Settings
- SHOC Resource Request Form
- FAQ: Long Term Care Sentinel Surveillance and Testing Program (6.3.20)
- Cohorting Plan for Long Term Care Facilities (3.29.22)
- Suggested Guidelines for Determining Presumed Positive COVID-19 Resident Status (4.23.20)
- Public Health Orders for Regulatory Requirements (4.9.20)
- Staffing Assistance Request Procedure (4.9.20)
- Staffing Assistance Request Form (4.9.20)
More Provider and Long-Term Care Facility Resources
- CDC Toolkit and FAQs on the Vaccine and LTCs
- Discontinuation of COVID-19 Precautions for Long Term Care Facilities (Updated 8.5.20)
- Long-Term Care Vaccine Consent Declination Form
- CDC Information on Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Retirement Communities and Independent Living Facilities
- Optimizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplies
- Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages
- CDC Information on Donning and Doffing PPE
- CDC Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
- CDC Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities
- Poster for Restricting Visitors in LTC Facilities
- Alzheimer Foundation of America
- CDC Summary of Travel Recommendations for Vaccinated vs. Not Vaccinated
- Acute and Outpatient Testing Guidance (updated 9.14.21)
- Long-Term Care Waiver Resolution (updated 07.02.21)
Get More COVID Data
For more data on Delaware COVID cases, testing and outcomes, including demographic breakdowns, go to My Healthy Community