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Friday, September 24, 2021

State releases updated mitigation guidance for residential care facilities

Colorado Department of Public
Health and Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released updated guidance modifying mitigation requirements for residential care facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities. 

In response to the COVID-19 Delta variant, the state has required enhanced infection control measures in areas where viral transmission has been higher to ensure resident safety since June 21. 

The state is now adding further protection for all residential care facilities to test unvaccinated staff daily — as well as unvaccinated residents who leave facilities overnight. 

Facilities statewide must now comply with the guidance. 

Recent changes include:

• Adding the use of rapid (molecular or antigen) surveillance and outbreak testing in addition to PCR testing for unvaccinated staff and residents who have left the facility in the past 14 days. Staff are required to perform a rapid test at the beginning of each shift. 

• Providing information about monoclonal antibody therapy, including the need for residents who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to be promptly evaluated by a health care provider to determine treatment eligibility.

“Residential care and nursing home communities have been on the front line of mitigating COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and these added infection prevention measures will help us combat variants of concern and rising cases when they occur,” said Randy Kuykendall, director, Health Facilities and EMS Division, CDPHE. “Adding rapid testing of unvaccinated staff at the beginning of each shift will help us identify and stop the spread of the disease early. That detection is key to the continued health and safety of our residential care facility residents.”

The state continues to encourage and support ongoing vaccination in residential facilities so residents can have meaningful interactions while continuing to prevent COVID-19 case and community spread. 

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov/ltcf.

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