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COVID-19 Testing: Resource Roundup and MDH Upcoming Changes

On June 30, 2022 by Kari Everson

Testing residents and staff for COVID-19 became a standard throughout the pandemic, and guidance frequently changed, which gives way to uncertainty on current guidance and recommendations for testing requirements, test interpretation, and test procurement.

OnTrack Nursing Assistant Training Now Updated with Tips for Testing with Headmaster

On June 16, 2022 by Anna Mowry

In honor of CNA week, we are excited to announce that OnTrack recently released the most up-to-date nursing assistant training curriculum to align with new Headmaster state testing!

OnTrack – Updated Curriculum Coming in June!

On May 26, 2022 by Anna Mowry

In early June, OnTrack will release the most up-to-date nursing assistant training curriculum to align with new Headmaster state testing!

Openings for Nursing Assistant Testing

On May 19, 2022 by Anna Mowry

Minnesota State and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are communicating updates to LeadingAge Minnesota regarding nursing assistant test sites as test sites around the state continue to open and increase their capacity.

MDH Provides Further Clarification and Pathways for Staff Working Under Nurse Aide Waiver

On May 19, 2022 by Anna Mowry

On June 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will terminate the COVID-19 waiver that has allowed basic care aides and caregivers to serve seniors without being on the Nursing Assistant Registry.

MDH Seeks Volunteers to Create a Nurse Aide Practice Test Exam

On May 12, 2022 by Anna Mowry

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) seeks volunteers to participate in a Test Advisory Panel (TAP) to develop a practice Nurse Aide test exam with questions reflective of Minnesota's nurse aide training program curriculum.

Use OnTrack to Transition Caregivers to Registered Nursing Assistants

On April 28, 2022 by Anna Mowry

A critical COVID-19 waiver allowing Basic Care Aids to serve seniors through the pandemic is expiring; caregivers must be on the Nursing Assistant Registry by Oct. 6.

Stay Up to Date: Sign Up for Notifications for Nurse Aid Candidate Handbook

On April 21, 2022 by Anna Mowry

Periodically, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) may update the Nurse Aide Candidate Handbooks and Mock Skills to reflect the most current guidance.

Reviewing COVID-19 Testing Protocols in Assisted Living

On March 31, 2022 by Kari Everson

Testing continues to be an essential component of infection prevention and control in our settings. Questions about required testing continue because of the rapid guidance changes and the different required testing strategies between assisted living and nursing homes. New testing guidance for assisted living communities was updated on March 3.

CMS Updates Two Quality and Safety Oversight Memos

On March 17, 2022 by Kari Everson

On March 10, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated two quality and safety oversight memos to align more closely with the previously updated guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

CMS and CDC National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call

On February 3, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a national stakeholder call on Feb. 2 to update its listeners regarding COVID-19, revisions to nursing home guidance, and best practices. The following is a summary for those who could not listen in on the call.

Abbott Extends Use of BinaxNOW Antigen Testing Cards

On January 20, 2022 by Kari Everson

Abbott labs petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week to extend the use life of their BinaxNOW antigen testing cards, and the FDA approved the change.

Health & Safety Requirement Updated for 2022 Institute; Still Time to Register

On January 20, 2022 by Heidi Simpson

The 2022 Institute & Expo is less than three weeks away, and we are looking forward to seeing so many of our members again after two years. There is still time to register your organization and staff for this multi-day conference which is in person at RiverCentre in St. Paul Feb. 9-11 and virtually Feb. 22-24. The registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 31.

Recent CDC Guidance on Healthcare Workers Who Test Positive for COVID-19

On January 13, 2022 by Kari Everson

In the recent CDC guidance revisions, there were notable changes in the return-to-work guidance for healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19. The guidance is divided into three options depending on whether the organization is in conventional staffing, contingency staffing, or crisis staffing. 

Reflexive COVID-19 Testing Opportunities for Congregate Settings

On October 28, 2021 by Roni Falck

The Midwest Coordination Center, in partnership with U.S. Health and Human Services Department is rolling out a free, federally funded COVID-19 reflexive testing program for congregate setting, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, and adult day services.

CMS Updates Nursing Home Testing Guidance

On September 15, 2021 by Jonathan Lips

On Sept. 10, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated QSO-20-38-NH concerning nursing home testing to align with recently updated recommendations from the CDC.

What to Do When You Have a COVID-19 Outbreak

On August 25, 2021 by Kari Everson

In the last several weeks, the number of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living settings have increased. Because there was an extended time when outbreaks were low, we have received many questions about handling them, specifically visitation and testing.

MDH Updates COVID-19 Testing Recommendations

On August 4, 2021 by Kari Everson

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) release new testing recommendations for long-term care providers on Monday, Aug. 3.

The Delta variant is more easily transmissible and spreads faster than the original COVID-19 virus or other variants, primarily among unvaccinated and vulnerable individuals. Data shows most COVID-19 cases in long-term care organizations are brought in by staff members. With the Delta variant, the dominant strain in Minnesota, there is risk for increased infection in our settings.

Rising Positivity Rates Means More Testing for Care Centers

On April 21, 2021 by Jeff Bostic

After rising to very high levels in late 2020, positivity rates of COVID-19 tests in Minnesota dropped dramatically in early 2021. In addition to providing a welcome drop in cases in long-term care settings, it also meant a reduced testing burden in care centers where a federal mandate ties surveillance testing frequency to the county positivity rate.

Reporting Antigen Test Results: A Refresher on the Requirements

On March 10, 2021 by Jonathan Lips

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reminded providers about the importance of reporting COVID-19 point of care antigen test results.

Many providers, both care centers and assisted living, are administering antigen tests, using the Quidel Sofia or BD Veritor systems, or the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 card tests. The MDH epidemiology team recently shared with us that it believes some providers are not consistently reporting the results of those rapid, point of care tests, and so we wanted to share a reminder of the requirements.

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