Here's what's new on our COVID-19 resource page:
Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes - Call for nominations: CMS is launching an independent commission to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This assessment will inform efforts to safeguard the health and quality of life of vulnerable Americans as CMS continues to battle COVID-19, as well as prepare for future threats to resident safety and public health. Nominations for the commission can be submitted through Friday, May 22, 2020.
CMS also has produced a new toolkit covering actions states can take to mitigate COVID-19 prevalence in nursing homes.
An update on FEMA's Public Assistance Program: Last month, FEMA authorized the purchase and distribution of food as an emergency protective measure for its Public Assistance Program. Under that policy, applicants (including state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities and certain private non-profit organizations) could receive funding for an initial 30-day period and could request one 30-day extension. FEMA is clarifying that extensions beyond the initial 60 days (in increments of 30 days or fewer per extension) are allowable when necessary through the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
Guidance for Older Americans Act programs: This week, ACL provided new guidance addressing common questions about providing groceries for OAA programs and updated guidance on reporting requirements for Title III and Title VI programs.
Promising practices: There isn't enough space to list all of the outstanding examples of how the aging and disability networks are adapting and innovating to meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities, but we're sharing a small sampling from around the country in a new "promising practices" section.
Staying connected and engaged during the pandemic: Staying at home and social distancing are critical to avoiding exposure to the coronavirus, but social isolation and loneliness can be a devastating result. In fact, a recent study showed that they can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. There are many ways to stay engaged, active, and connected -- both with and without technology. We've created a new section with resources to help you get started.
Reopening resources: We're continuing to add resources to help states and programs plan for a safe reopening, including guidance from the CDC and a FEMA planning fact sheet for organizations.
Community-based testing options: HHS is partnered with pharmacy and retail companies to provide COVID-19 testing in community settings. We've added a link to a website where you can find up-to-date information on each company's efforts and how to schedule an appointment for testing.
Avoiding discrimination during medical rapid response: The University of Miami’s Mailman Center for Child Development has created a training on avoiding discrimination against people with disabilities. The training is designed for triage team members tasked with making resource allocation decisions during shortages.