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FW: NC DHHS LTC Weekly COVID-19 Update Email – 01/11/2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Update (12/30/2020)

If your facility did not enroll in the CDC Long Term Care Pharmacy Partnership with CVS and Walgreens, we have asked your local health department to reach out to you to coordinate on vaccine services for your facilities’ staff and residents. Please coordinate with them to make arrangements to offer vaccine services to your residents and staff. These arrangements could include vaccination through your health department or another enrolled provider; or working with a long-term care pharmacy that has enrolled as a COVID-19 vaccine provider. The federal government has already paid for several hundred million doses of multiple COVID-19 vaccines through Operation Warp Speed, so the vaccine will be provided at no cost to your residents and staff. Providers may not bill for COVID-19 vaccine doses provided by the federal government, only for vaccine administration with no out-of-pocket for anyone, regardless of insurance status. The cost of vaccine will be covered by insurance or the federal government.

LTC Facilities – Staffing Shortages

NC DHHS acknowledges that staffing shortages are a difficult challenge faced by some LTC facilities during their outbreak response. NC DHHS does NOT recommend allowing positive HCP to work before completing their isolation period.

It is important for the facility to communicate with LHD and local emergency manager as soon as possible if there is potential for unmet staffing needs.

  • If the mitigation strategies listed below have been unsuccessful in meeting staffing needs the facility may consider allowing positive HCP to work with positive residents prior to completing their isolation period.
    • Contact temporary staffing agencies/nursing pools.
    • Contact corporate leadership or other sister facilities for temporary staffing support.
    • Contact the local emergency manager and local healthcare coalitions for temporary staffing support.
    • Implement plans to allow asymptomatic HCP who have had a high-risk unprotected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 but are not known to be infected to continue to work.
    • Implement regional plans to transfer patients with COVID-19 to designated healthcare facilities or alternate care sites.
    • If staffing shortages continue despite pursuing the strategies listed above, consider implementing criteria to allow HCP with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are well enough and willing to work but have not met all the Return to Work criteria to work with positive residents and must follow all appropriate precautions.
  • Please see NC DHHS’s Emergency Resource Requests and CDC’s Strategies to Mitigate HCP Staffing Shortages documents for additional information.

Long Term Care PSAs

We want to thank you for keeping so many North Carolinians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your essential work has saved countless lives and we appreciate everything you do. As we continue to distribute and vaccinate people all across the state we wanted to share an initial PSA produced specifically for long-term care workers and residents. The PSAs are 30, 60 and 90 seconds and can be viewed on our YouTube channel. The YouTube links can also be directly embedded into your websites, email list serves and digital marketing materials. We’ve also made the videos available for download for you to upload to your own digital channels and display at your facilities. Here are the links for viewing/embedding and downloading our first round of PSAs:

YouTube

Vimeo

Thank you again for all that you do in our state and please reach out at news@dhhs.nc.gov if you have any questions about how best to use the videos.

Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment of COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently given emergency use authorization to two monoclonal antibody drugs for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients with positive test results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing who are 12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg, and who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. These two products, bamlanivimab (manufactured by Eli Lilly) and casirivimab/imdevimab (manufactured by Regeneron), are administered via one-time IV infusion, followed by 1-hour of direct patient observation and are intended to be given in an outpatient setting. Currently, US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) controls the fair and equitable allocation of these products to State Departments of Health on a weekly basis. Skilled nursing facilities interested in obtaining access to these medications should reach out to their pharmacy provider. At this time, long term care pharmacies are eligible to receive bamlanivimab after completing a brief enrollment process. Casirivimab/imdevimab is currently only available to hospitals and hospital affiliated locations as per HHS/ASPR guidelines. For more information regarding access to monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of COVID-19 in North Carolina, please contact Tim Davis (tim.davis@dhhs.nc.gov).

CDC Long Term Care Toolkit

CDC has released a toolkit as a resource for explaining COVID-19 vaccination to both residents and staff in LTCFs. It includes resources for talking with staff, residents, and families, FAQs on the vaccines, and tips on how to prepare staff and vaccine safety monitoring and reporting. Access it here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/toolkits/long-term-care/index.html.

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