September 27, 2022

New COVID-19 guidance gives assisted living providers much more flexibility

Senior living experts have welcomed revised COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidance for healthcare settings, saying it provides more flexibility for providers to respond to current local conditions.

In updated guidance released late Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now offers assisted living the option of following either the COVID-19 healthcare settings or more flexible congregate care setting recommendations. The decision comes down to how a state categorizes assisted living communities.

In general, long-term care settings — including assisted living settings — whose staff provide non-skilled personal care should follow community prevention strategies based on COVID-19 community transmission levels, similar to independent living and other non-healthcare congregate settings. According to LeadingAge, this allows providers to “adjust interventions earlier, mitigating the strain on the healthcare system and protecting the vulnerable individuals seeking care in healthcare settings.” The CDC also recommends that communities check those transmission rates weekly.

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