Over a million Americans reside in Congregate Care Facilities (CCFs), which provide housing and some services for individuals who do not need skilled nursing care. CCFs include assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, and memory care units. While healthier than nursing home residents, CCF residents face substantial risk of excess death and morbidity from COVID-19.
Many residents and staff in these facilities have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and studies on the vaccines have shown that the severity of illness and likelihood of death are greatly reduced after vaccination. Some individuals will not be able to take the vaccine for medical reasons, and some staff have been hesitant to get the vaccine. In addition, it is not yet known if vaccinated individuals can transmit the infection to others.
Consequently, for some time to come, screening and surveillance test protocols can help reduce the risk of infection and mortality in CCFs. Policy actions can facilitate access and effective use of testing to protect these vulnerable communities until widespread vaccination occurs. This publication provides some great guidance and examples of best practices. Visit the HealthCapUSA resource and education center for additional excerpts from this publication! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated and stay tuned!