Most pandemic compliance requirements remain unchanged for nursing homes following a recent recommendation that older adults and immunocompromised individuals receive a second COVID-19 booster shot, according to industry advocate LeadingAge.
Although the new booster recommendations do not substantially affect compliance, facility operators should keep in mind that they are still required to both offer vaccination and to educate staff and residents about SARS-CoV-2 transmission prevention, noted Jodi Eyigor, director of nursing home quality and policy, in a post published late last week.
“Presumably, this would extend to booster doses,” she noted.
The following is a summary of her update:
COVID-19 vaccination mandate: The mandate that all staff and residents be vaccinated against COVID-19 remains unchanged. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not revised its Code of Federal Regulation following the new recommendations to offer a second booster shot to eligible residents.
Routine testing: Nursing homes are not required to test staff who have received one booster dose, even if they are eligible for a second, Eyigor reported. CMS on March 10 revised its COVID-19 testing guidance to include all staff who are not up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination in routine staff testing. “Up-to-date” currently refers to having received a primary series of vaccinations plus a single booster dose when eligible.
Quarantine: Similarly, nursing homes are not required to quarantine residents who have received one booster dose, even if they are eligible for a second shot, Eyigor wrote. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends quarantine for residents who are not up-to-date on their vaccinations and have been admitted or readmitted to a facility, have left for more than 24 hours or were in close contact with an infected individual.