Information for Providers and Long-Term Care Professionals

Information for Providers and Long-Term Care Professionals

    Informational Letters for Individual Providers (IP) About Accessing the COVID-19 Vaccine 

    An informational letter on how IPs can access the COVID-19 vaccine, along with a verification letter will be mailed by DSHS to IPs the week of January 11. The informational letter is currently available for download in English but will be made available in other languages on Friday, January 15. Links to the informational letter are below: 

    English | Russian | Vietnamese | Tagalog | Chinese | Korean | Somali | Spanish | Laotian

    Safe Start for Long-Term Care Plan, Visitation, and Phase Status

    The Safe Start for Long-Term Care plan establishes phased criteria for long-term care facilities to permit visitation. The plan also offers guidance on trips outside the facility, communal dining and group activities, testing and screening, source control and PPE, and staffing. 

    Visit this page for the details of the Safe Start for Long-Term Care plan and for answers to common questions.

    COVID-19 Reporting Requirements

    You must report suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the following parties (see list of notifiable conditions)

    ALTSA requests that all long-term care facilities report COVID status twice per week. (See Instructions)


    Dedicated COVID-19 Care Units

    Several nursing facilities have contracted with DSHS to establish dedicated COVID-19 care units. These units are physically separated from the general population, are accessed by a separate entrance, and are staffed by dedicated personnel.

    Please contact the nearest of these locations when a resident with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis has needs that cannot be accommodated in their current residence.

    See a map of Washington Counties here.

    WESTERN WA      
    Avamere Transitional Care of Puget Sound

    630 S Pearl Street,

    Tacoma, WA 98465

    Pierce 253-671-7300
    Richmond Beach Rehabilitation

    19235 15th Avenue NW, 

    Shoreline, WA 98177

    King 206-546-2666
    Ballard Center

    820 NW 95th Street,

    Seattle, WA 98117

    King 206-782-0100
    Fort Vancouver Post-Acute

    8507 NE 8th Way,

    Vancouver, WA 98664

    Clark 360-254-5335
    Orchard Park Health and Rehabilitation

    4755 South 48th Street,

    Tacoma, WA 98409

    Pierce 253-475-4611
    EASTERN WA      
    Avalon Health and Rehab, Pasco

    2004 N 22nd Avenue,

    Pasco, WA 99301

    Franklin 509-542-3676
    Avalon Care Center, NorthPointe

    9827 N Nevada Street,

    Spokane, WA 99218

    Spokane 509-468-7000

    Vaccine Administration

    Refer to the Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine page for general information about the vaccine.

    Long-Term Care Settings

    Workers and residents in long-term care settings are included in "Phase 1A" of the state plan, meaning that they will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

    Many facilities have enrolled in the federal pharmacy partnership program in which partnered pharmacies will administer vaccines onsite at long-term care facilities. If your facility is not enrolled in the program and requires instructions to pursue vaccination, please contact your local health jurisdiction

    In-Home Settings

    Clients that receive care in their homes and the providers that serve them are priorities in the state vaccination plan, but not all are included in Phase 1A. At this time, only home care workers at the highest risk of exposure are included in Phase 1A (see pg. 3 of this document for specifics).

    Informational Flyers

    Long-Term Care Advisory Group

    An advisory group has been formed to address pandemic-related issues affecting long-term care providers. The group is comprised of members of state government, industry representatives, labor representatives, and other stakeholders.

    Advisory Group Purpose Statement

    The purpose of this Long-Term Care Facilities COVID-19 Advisory Group is to:

    • Communicate across agencies and across advisory group representation what is needed to fully support residents, families, providers and facility staff in response to the COVID-19. 
    • Share information that has been captured from other groups and sources with the goal of coordinating the many channels of information that are occurring as a result of COVID-19 response.
    • Advise agencies and local jurisdictions on policy decisions and practices related to COVID-19 response in long-term care facilities and home and community-based programs.
    • The activities of this group are specific to COVID-19 related needs.  Unless the group decides to adjourn earlier, once the threat of the pandemic is past, activities of this advisory group will terminate.
    Represented long-term care facilities include adult family homes, skilled nursing facilities, supported living agencies, and assisted living facilities.


    Meeting Agendas:

    Meeting Minutes:

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Pay close attention to our "Provider/Administrator Letters" for the latest guidance. Refer procedural questions to your local health department.

    Conservation and Re-Use of PPE

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published strategies for the conservation of PPE. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a checklist specific to the conservation of N95 respirators. This ALTSA Flyer discusses the conservation of PPE, re-use of PPE and alternatives when facing a shortage.

    Use of Cloth Face Coverings - Residents and Clients

    The CDC and CMS recommends the adoption of cloth face coverings by long-term care residents when in the presence of others, even if no symptoms are present. The face covering should cover the nose and mouth. It is important to properly use and sanitize the covering.

    Protocol for Donning (Putting On) and Doffing (Taking Off) PPE

    The effectiveness of PPE depends on its proper use. Putting on or removing PPE inappropriately can negate its protective properties. Adhere to CDC guidelines for use of PPE and refer to CDC instructions for properly donning (video) and doffing (video) PPE.

    How to Acquire PPE

    All long-term care facilities are instructed to purchase necessary personal protective equipment. In the event of an urgent shortage, visit this page to review your backup options.

    Individual Providers are eligible to request PPE from the state.

    COVID-19 Testing    

    Who should get tested?

    The Washington State Department of Health recommends prompt testing for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19. If a resident, client, or staff member at a long-term care facility tests positive for COVID-19, contact your local health jurisdiction for immediate instruction on broader testing.   

    Training Staff to Administer COVID-19 Testing

    The Department of Health and local health jurisdictions are leading the training of facility staff in performing COVID-19 testing. Contact your local health jurisdiction to inquire about training for viral testing, specimen collection, and reporting.  

    Infection Control and Prevention

    COVID-19 Guidance for Home Care Workers

    This document details important safety measures for home care workers to protect themselves and their clients. It is also available in a variety of languages:
















    Appendix K Waivers

    Appendix K waivers have been filed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These waivers temporarily modify some processes of care, provider qualifications, service limitations, and other guidelines. Providers should stay current with these waivers to optimally respond to COVID-19.

    Provider Rate Enhancements

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has burdened providers with increased costs. Emergency rate enhancements have been extended to providers to offset some of these increased expenses.

    Home and Community Services (HCS) Rate Enhancements

    Home Care Agencies will receive a vendor rate of $35.68 per hour, or $8.92 per quarter hour, through September 30, 2020.

    Individual Providers will receive an additional $2.56 per hour for hours worked through September 30, 2020.

    • H20-068 details temporary rate changes for Home Care Agencies, training class time and the Family Caregiver Support Program.
    • H20-070 details rate add-ons for Medicaid service providers, including assisted living facilities, enhanced services facilities, adult family homes, community choice guides, supportive housing, behavior support agencies, nurse delegators, private duty nursing and skilled nursing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • H20-077 details rate enhancements for Individual Providers.

    Residential Care Services (RCS) Rate Enhancements

    The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services have increased Federal Match Assistance Percentages (FMAP), resulting in an effective 12-15% rate increase for facilities.

    Admitting nursing home facilities will receive an exceptional rate of $100 per client per day atop regular rates for admitting a hospitalized client who transitions to their facility during the surge period.

    DSHS has also begun establishing contracts with providers that can establish buildings or wings that can provide services dedicated to COVID+ residents. These COVID+ facilities will receive an enhanced daily rate of $450/day.

    ALTSA issued a “Dear Provider” letter on May 4 that details rate increases for Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Family Homes.

    Additional Guidance for Providers

    Guidance for Individual Providers

    The work performed by Individual Providers is considered essential under the Governors Proclamation 20-25. See our Guide for Individual Providers top strategies to limit close contact and protect yourself and others.

    Phased Reopening Guidance for Adult Day Services

    ALTSA Response to COVID-19

    The Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) has reacted to the COVID-19 outbreak by securing federal waivers to afford providers much-needed flexibility in care delivery, and by delivering timely guidance to providers and facilities. Our guidance consolidates input from Governor Jay Inslee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other authoritative bodies.

    Help, Hotlines, and Guidelines

    Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus Call Center

    • 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

    Washington State Department of Health Web Resources

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

    Applicable to federally certified programs such as nursing facilities and ICF/IIDs

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Washington State Coronavirus Response Website

    DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration