Today's COVID-19 Report: Friday, May 21, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Friday, May 21 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics of importance.
Off the Record
Allread said several times a week she drives past a billboard advertising jobs at a warehouse in the Darke County area and the starting wage is now up to $17.50 per hour. She said under the current amount they are reimbursed, Brethren can’t compete with other wages.
Excerpt from an article in today's Dayton Daily News featuring LeadingAge Ohio member Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville. Kara Allread, Vice President & CAO, joined LeadingAge's Katie Smith Sloan to call for increased reimbursement for aging services providers.
In Today's Report
A call today with Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy prompted LeadingAge Ohio to issue this late Friday afternoon COVID report.
- All-member call Q&A call - Tuesday, May 25 at 11:30AM
- Providers told to schedule timely vaccine clinics
- Providers must educate on vaccines; CMS provides guidance
- BWC grants still available for air purification improvements
- Staff and residents: Register for Vax-a-Million
- LeadingAge Ohio PAC Trivia returns next week to tackle sports
- LeadingAge Need to Know
All-member call Q&A call - Tuesday, May 25 at 11:30AM
LeadingAge Ohio will hold its next all-member Q&A call on Tuesday, May 25 at 11:30AM. Members can register in advance for this webinar by clicking here. All questions for the call can be sent in advance to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. The call will also allow participants to ‘chat’ questions.
The all-member call will answer questions resulting from the updated CDC masking guidance. The call will discuss the newest CMS memos, Q&As provided by CMS, and best practices in applying the CDC recommendations and the CMS guidelines.
Providers told to schedule timely vaccine clinics
Director Ursel McElroy urged providers to schedule a vaccine clinic if they haven't done so or if they have residents/staff waiting for vaccinations. She reminded providers that there are 36 vaccine-accredited pharmacies available to conduct the clinics around the state, and that waiting for a minimum number of staff and/or residents in order to schedule a clinic is not necessary.
Providers with issues regarding vaccine clinics can be reported at COVIDTesting@age.ohio.gov.
Providers must educate on vaccines; CMS provides guidance
Director McElroy reminded providers that all residents and/or resident representatives and staff must be educated on the COVID-19 vaccine they are offered, in a manner they can understand, and receive the FDA COVID-19 EUA Fact Sheet before being offered the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that vaccine recipients or their representative are provided with certain vaccine-specific EUA information to help make an informed decision about vaccination. Fact Sheets can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers website.
Education must cover the benefits and potential side effects of the vaccine. This should include common reactions, such as aches or fever, and rare reactions such as anaphylaxis. If the vaccination requires multiple doses of vaccine, the resident or resident representative and staff are again provided with education regarding the benefits and potential side effects of the vaccine and current information regarding those additional doses, including any changes in the benefits or potential side effects, before requesting consent for administration of any additional doses. The resident, resident representative, or staff member must be provided the opportunity to refuse the vaccine and to change their decision about vaccination at any time.
CMS recommends that staff work with their LTC facility’s Medical Director and Infection Preventionist and use the CDC and FDA resources as the source of information for their vaccination education initiatives. The CDC’s LTC Facility Toolkit: Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccination at Your Facility has information and resources to build confidence among staff and residents. In addition, the Ohio Department of Health recently released a vaccine communications toolkit. Early next week, LeadingAge Ohio will post additional resources.
On a National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call on May 13, CMS clarified what vaccine education is expected of facilities. CMS expects facilities to focus on staff that are unvaccinated. CMS wants facilities to be able to show proof of doing education for these staff. CMS stated that facilities should use best judgement when to re-approach staff on vaccine education. Additional information is located on the CMS stakeholder webpage, including a transcript from the 5/13 call.
BWC grants still available for air purification improvements
The COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assistance Program provides reimbursement for eligible applicants to help cover the costs of inspections, assessments, maintenance, and improvements to indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to control the spread of COVID-19. It also provides reimbursement for secondary devices designed to destroy bacteria and mold and inactivate viruses.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is reminding Ohio providers that it has extended the deadline to apply for reimbursement for eligible expenses to June 30 and expanded the types of facilities eligible for the program. At present, there are still funds remaining for the program.
Eligible employers include:
- Facilities licensed by the Ohio Department of Health – Nursing homes, assisted living/residential care facilities, hospices.
- Facilities recognized by the Ohio Department of Aging – Senior centers, adult day centers that are Medicaid providers in the PASSPORT, Ohio Home Care, or MyCare Ohio waiver programs.
- Facilities certified/licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – Substance use disorder residential treatment providers; Class 2 and Class 3 residential treatment providers (adult care facilities).
- Facilities certified/recognized by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities – Residential Waiver settings (group homes), intermediate care facilities, adult day support providers that are Medicaid providers and have submitted a Provider Assurance Form.
Eligible expenses are those incurred in response to COVID-19 for the previously mentioned purposes on or after March 1, 2020, up to and including June 30, 2021. The application form includes a list of eligible expenses. Eligible applicants may apply for financial assistance more than once; however, it cannot exceed the maximum total amount of $15,000. Each nursing home, assisted living/residential care facility, or hospice with a separate ODH license is eligible. Each adult day center and adult day support provider is eligible per Medicaid number.
The funds used in this program come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. Eligible employers may receive up to $15,000 for the duration of the program.
Please allow up to 15 business days for the application to be reviewed and funds distributed by electronic funds transfer. BWC will email the applicant with the results. For general questions, contact BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene at 1-800-644-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LeadingAge Ohio Associate member Gpurify can provide members with a facility assessment, guide members through product selection to maximize resident and staff safety, and identify and complete grant applications for organizations at no additional charge. Reach out to Todd Imwalle at email@example.com or 937.760.6009 for more information.
Or alternatively, to complete an application:
- Download the application.
- Complete all sections of the application, print it, and sign it.
- Email the signed application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep a copy for your files.
A completed application submission must include all of the following:
- Completed application form and signed agreement.
- Completed Appendix A – list of expenses.
- All required purchase documentation.
Information to have available while completing the application:
- BWC policy number (if applicable)
- Certification/license number (if applicable)
- Invoices and proof of payment for expenses already incurred
Staff and residents: Register for Vax-a-Million!
Director McElroy reminded Ohio providers to encourage all qualifying staff and residents to register for the Ohio Vax-a-Million lottery.
Ohio Vax-a-Million is a public outreach campaign and initiative to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and provide incentives to Ohioans to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Ohioans 18 and older who have received a received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can enter to win one of five $1 million prizes. Ohioans ages 12-17 who have received a received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can enter to win one of five four-year, full-ride scholarships, including room and board, tuition, and books, to any Ohio state college or university. More information is available at ohiovaxamillion.com.
Members are encouraged to engage activity professionals and other hands-on staff in helping residents and staff register in fun and creative ways.
LeadingAge Ohio PAC Trivia returns next week to tackle sports
This winter, the LeadingAge Ohio Political Action Committee (PAC) held a virtual trivia series on Zoom-enabled platform Kahoot, covering topics like movies, history, and politics. Due to popular demand, PAC trivia is back for one more special session this spring! This time, we are tackling sports next week on Thursday, May 27 from 5:30-6:30PM.
Attendees can compete to win Amazon and Starbucks gift cards. Join us in this fun, easy way to network with other members, share some laughs, support LeadingAge Ohio political efforts, and show off your knowledge. This event is open to all members – from leadership, to clinical, dining, activities, facilities, and don't forget, residents! If you didn’t play this winter, don’t worry – the Kahoot platform is easy to use and the session will feature a short lesson before trivia kicks off.
Information about registration for individuals and groups, as well as sponsorship opportunities, is available here.
LeadingAge Need to Know
LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's Need to Know featured free access to the 2021 Collaborative Care & Health IT Innovations Summit and information on LeadingAge's Public Perceptions of Aging Services Survey.
Check out today's LeadingAge Need To Know.
Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook gro up to pose questions to peers and share best practices. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members. To participate in these daily online updates, members should register here.
LeadingAge Ohio is working to ensure that the information in our daily alerts, on our website, and all coronavirus-related communications is as accurate as possible. However, LeadingAge Ohio makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information.