COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities
Recommendations for LTCF
Contact the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977, option 3, between 8am-7pm PST for resource support, including staff Isolation and quarantine needs.
This webpage provides up-to-date resources to assist long-term care facilities in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Long-term care facilities are at high risk for severe COVID-19 outbreaks due to their congregate nature and vulnerable population (e.g., older adults with multiple co-morbidities). They play a critical role in the COVID-19 response.
State of Washington has launched a phone hotline for questions about long-term care facilities; call 888-856-5691 (open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily).
- FamHelp – Safe Start Guidance
COVID-19 resources for family and friends from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services - Aging and Long-Term Support Administration
- LTCF Phase 1 Letter from James Lewis, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist – COVID-19 Healthcare Response, PHSKC
- King County COVID-19 Data Dashboards
- Long Term Care Facility Data Dashboard
- Public Health — Seattle & King County recommends weekly testing of all LTCF staff (PDF) Updated Apr. 6, 2021
- An outbreak in a long-term care facility is defined as 2 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in staff who were onsite at any time during their exposure or infectious period OR 1 or more facility-acquired case(s) of COVID-19 infection in a resident.
- Per Washington State law, long-term care facilities are required to report any COVID-19 outbreaks that occur in their facility. To report a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 outbreak, please submit a REDCap High Risk Settings Report online or call our Call Center at 206-477-3977 (open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm).
- Note: COVID-19 related deaths are reportable to Public Health.
- Testing locations in King County
For free tests sites – click on the MAP and filter by "No Insurance Required"
- Outbreak Testing
Conduct outbreak testing as soon as possible, regardless of vaccination status. CDC recommends testing ALL staff and residents immediately and every 3-7 days until 14 days pass with no new COVID-19 cases identified. (See CDC's testing guidance.)
- Test Kits
We encourage facilities to request COVID-19 test kits from their commercial lab, acute care partner or other vendors. If you have a contract with a commercial lab, but they are unable to provide test kits, you may order from the county on our resource page. Note, this resource provides only test kits and does not include a provider order for the lab test or a lab to process the specimen.
- Physician orders
It is important to partner with individuals' primary care providers, another health system, or a contracted provider to obtain lab orders if your facility does not have a medical director. It is advised you make arrangements for provision of COVID-19 standing orders for all staff and residents as future testing will likely be an ongoing need for the foreseeable future. PHSKC is not currently providing full-facility standing orders.
- Information on clinical specimens, CDC
- Interpretation of Antigen tests, CDC
- Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR)
Effective infection control is critical to preventing communicable diseases and stopping the transmission of COVID-19 in your facility. King County has an Infection Preventionist (IP) who is available to consult with you about your facility's infection control practices. To request an ICAR, call our main line to speak with an investigator 206-296-4774.
- Washington State also offers non-regulatory ICARs. To request a visit see visit the WA State Dept. of Health Infection Control Assessment and Response Program page.
Appropriate PPE should be worn by all healthcare workers, residents and visitors (if tolerated) regardless of vaccination status.
- How to request PPE from King County
To request PPE from Public Health, visit our emergency resource page. Upload the PPE request form, fill out the items you are requesting and email to the form to email@example.com.
- How to put on and remove PPE safely
Quarantine is no longer recommended for residents who are being admitted to a post-acute care (LTCF’s) facility if they are fully vaccinated and have not had prolonged close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 14 days.
- Overall Safe Start visitation guidance:
- For Adult Family Homes, Assisted Living Facilities & Enhanced Services Facilities
- For Nursing Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities
- Healthcare Exposure Risk Assessment and Work Restrictions Guidance, CDC
- Healthcare Worker Return to Work Guidance, CDC
- Requesting Emergency Staffing Resources, WA State Dept. of Health
- Resources and Support for Workers During COVID-19 Pamphlet, Public Health - Seattle & King County
- Guidance for Daily COVID -19 Symptom Screening for Staff and Guests, WA State Dept. of Health
- Workers right resources
- Healthcare Worker Exposure Risk Assessment and Work Restrictions Guidance, CDC
- Resident/Client Risk Assessment Tool, WA State Dept. of Health
- King County Contact Tracing
- King County Isolation and Quarantine Order
- Isolation and Quarantine, WA State Dept. of Health
Memos from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS):