FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

Hospital Testing for Long-Term Care Transfers Rule Update

Agency for Health Care Administration
Press Release
August 7, 2020

“A hospital is prohibited from discharging any resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to any long-term care facility until the resident has been cleared for discharge, unless the receiving facility has a dedicated wing, unit, or building with dedicated staff to accept the COVID-19 positive resident.”

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 at long-term care and residential facilities, the Agency for Health Care Administration issued Emergency Rule 59AER20-8. This rule replaces the previous Emergency Rule 59AER20-6 to align with CDC updates to provide clarity for hospitals and long-term care facilities about clinical decision making during the transfer of residents.

A hospital is prohibited from discharging any resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to any long-term care facility until the resident has been cleared for discharge, unless the receiving facility has a dedicated wing, unit, or building with dedicated staff to accept the COVID-19 positive resident.

The rule stresses the CDC guidance regarding a symptom-based strategy for clearance. Consistent with the CDC guidance, long-term care facilities should not expect a test-based clearance to be performed prior to transfers for previously positive residents.

The rule updates the symptom-based strategy to reflect these CDC changes based on “evidence that supports ending isolation and precautions for persons with COVID-19 using a symptom-based strategy. This update incorporates recent evidence to inform the duration of isolation and precautions recommended to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to others, while limiting unnecessary prolonged isolation and unnecessary use of laboratory testing resources.” See full CDC update at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html.

Editor’s Note: We thank Doug Adkins for sending this our way.

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