All FAQs

Antigen (BinaxNow) rapid testing

Q: What can I do with BinaxNOW rapid tests? 

Q:  How do I get BinaxNOW rapid test kits?

Q: How do I get additional BinaxNOW rapid test supplies if I use up my initial batch?

Q:  How do I report BinaxNOW rapid test results? 

Cleaning (rooms & PPE)

Q: Can I disinfect or clean disposable gloves and reuse them?

Q: How and how often should rooms and surfaces be cleaned?

Q: Is the decontamination procedure the same if a COVID-19 positive person is placed in a room vacated by a COVID-19 positive person?

Q: What is the procedure for cleaning face shields?

Q: What should we know about cleaning and reusing masks and gowns?

Communications

Q: How should we keep families informed?

Q: How can we help families and residents connect?

Q: Is there information about COVID-19 related scams we could share with residents and families?

Confidentiality

Q: How could information about an infection in our facility get into the public domain?

Q: What information will SST liaisons share with DHHS about COVID-19 cases at our facility?

Contacts/Resources at NH DHHS

Q: How do I get updates from NH DHHS?

Q: Is there a webpage that gathers all of NH DHHS’s COVID-19 information in one place?

Q: I’ve heard there are calls for LTCFs with DHHS, how do I join?

Q: Where do I call to report a suspected COVID-19 case?

Q: Where do I call with PPE and supply procurement questions?

Q: Who should I call at NH DHHS if I have a question?

Q: Should residents be separated (cohorted) by COVID-19 status?

COVID-19 in residents – includes isolation and quarantine (see testing below)

Q: Can we admit new residents?

Q: What are the recommendations for quarantine or isolation for people who have recently (within 90 days) had COVID or been vaccinated?

Q: What is the process for reporting if a resident develops symptoms?

Q: What is the protocol for obtaining an NP swab?

Q: What about people being newly admitted or returning from acute care facilities (do they need to quarantine)?

Q: What should we do after a resident has an appointment or tests (non COVID related) and returns to the facility (do they need to quarantine?)

Q: Where can I get specimen collection kits?

Employees (staff) shortages, recruiting & hiring, training

Q: Can we get waivers for pre-employment requirements?

Q: Is there any training for staff about COVID-19 and related topics?

Q: We are very short staffed. Can volunteers fill in, and how do I find volunteers?

Q: What is the Long Term Care Stabilization Program (LTCS)?

Q: What is NH Needs Caregivers and can they help me hire employees?

Q: What is the process for obtaining emergency licensing for staff?

Q: What is the temporary health partners program?

Employees (staff) – when staff should cohort, isolate, quarantine, return to work, etc. (including after travel)

Q: If an employee believes that they have been exposed, what steps should be taken to protect residents?

Q: If an employee tests positive but is asymptomatic, can they still work?

Q: If an employee travels out of state, what steps should be taken?

Q: If an employee works at another place in addition to this facility (and might have secondary or unknown exposure to COVID-19), or visits with or lives with someone else who works at a facility that has confirmed COVID-19 cases, what steps should be taken?

Q: Should staff “shelter in place” at the facility to limit exposure for residents?

Q: Should staff working with residents who are presumed or confirmed to have COVID-19 work with other residents as well?

Q: What are the recommendations for quarantine or isolation for people who have recently (within 90 days) had COVID or been vaccinated?

Q: What are the recommendations for when employees should not work? When should they isolate or quarantine?

Gloves, Masks, Face Shields, Eye Protection, Procuring PPE and other supplies, & Clothing (See also: Cleaning (rooms & PPE) above)

Donning & doffing and street clothes

Q: How should staff don and doff PPE such as gloves, masks, tyvek coveralls, gowns?

Q: Should staff change their clothes before going home?

Gloves

Q: Should I change gloves between patients/residents?

Masks, faceshields & eye protection

Q: Are facilities able to ask visitors to wear masks now that the governor let the state mask mandate expire (in April 2021)? Are there resources to help us with that?

Q: Are most facilities masking all employees and residents even if there are no confirmed positive cases? (note, this question is from early in the pandemic)

Q: Do N95 masks need to be fitted? How and by whom?

Q: Do cloth masks such as those donated by volunteers provide adequate protection?

Q: Should I change my mask between patients/residents?

Q: What are the recommendations on face shields and eye protection?

Q: Who should be wearing a mask at our facility?

Requesting & procuring PPE & supplies

Q: How can the Senior Support Team of NH help us with PPE procurement issues?

Q: How should we determine how much PPE to order or have on hand?

Q: We heard the FDA is warning not to use certain gowns as PPE. Which ones?

Q: What is the process for requesting PPE, and how are those requests being filled?

Q: We heard there are counterfeit N95 masks, which ones?

Q: What other supplies can we request besides PPE? Thermometers? Hand sanitizer?

Q: Who do I contact about PPE fraud or price gouging?

Haircuts and other personal services

Q: Can we allow hairdressers/salon services or other personal service visitors?

HVAC, fans, air conditioning

Q: What should we know about COVID-19 and fans, HVAC systems, or portable or window air conditioners?

Meals and Activities

Q: How should we address loneliness, helplessness, and boredom?

Q: Should residents eat meals in their rooms?

Q: Should we suspend group activities?

Q: Is advice on meals and activities the same for Assisted Living Facilities?

Medications

Q: Can we streamline administering medications during the pandemic?

Reopening

Q: Are there resources that cover reopening guidelines?

Screening (same for residents and staff)

Q: What are the guidelines for screening employees?

Q: What are the guidelines for screening residents?

Self Care and mental health support

Q: Are there resources for staff, residents, and families dealing with loss, either from the pandemic as a whole or from the death of a loved one or resident?

Q: What are some resources for self care for staff, families, and residents?

Surveillance testing

Q: Are consent forms needed for surveillance testing?

Q: If we have minors in our surveillance testing program do they need parental consent for testing?

Q: How do we add new staff to our surveillance testing?

Q: Our surveillance test kits arrived and the box says refrigerate, but a sticker on the box says keep at room temperature. OR: check boxes on side of test kit indicate refrigerate, freeze, or room temperature and none are checked. Which is correct?

Q: Should residents or staff who have been COVID positive be retested? What about fully vaccinated residents or staff?

Q: What are the guidelines that determine when surveillance testing happens and how often?

Q: What is the surveillance testing program for assisted living facilities and how do we participate?

Q: What is the surveillance testing program for long term care facilities and how do we participate?

Q: Where can I find training materials for staff for the surveillance testing program?

Q: Who pays for surveillance testing?

Testing and reporting suspected cases (staff and residents; for antigen testing see above)

Q: Can a resident refuse testing, and what do we do if that happens?

Q: Can staff refuse testing?

Q: Do staff who were COVID positive more than 90 days ago need to be retested? What about fully vaccinated staff? (see also same question for residents & surveillance testing)

Q: Does insurance cover testing?

Q: How do I get testing for my staff?

Q: In what circumstances should a resident be tested for a variant of COVID-19, and how do we arrange for that?

Q: Should staff who have been COVID positive be retested? What about fully vaccinated staff? (see also same question for residents & surveillance testing)

Q: What are the CDC recommendations about testing residents?

Q: What is the process for obtaining testing for residents with symptoms?

Q: What is the process for reporting if a resident develops symptoms? (same for staff)

Q: What should we do when someone on the staff tests positive?

Tours

Q: Can we allow tours of our facility for potential new residents and their families?

Transport

Q: Should we cohort residents based on COVID-19 status, even if that means transporting them to another facility?

Q: What PPE should people transporting a COVID-19 patient wear?What about the patient?

Q: What should we do about transporting a resident to a local hospital for tests unrelated to COVID-19, like x-rays?

Vaccine hesitancy or refusal

Q: Are there resources for preventing vaccine refusal and addressing vaccine hesitancy?

Q: Are there strategies that work better than others when addressing vaccine hesitancy or refusal?

Q: How should we explain what to expect from the vaccine, for staff and for residents?

Q: What is mRNA and how can I explain it in the context of COVID-19 vaccines?

Vaccines & vaccination, Providing vaccines

Q: Can we arrange for a mobile vaccine clinic at our facility?

Q: If someone has received their first dose, but for some reason doesn’t get the second dose in the recommended time, what then?

Q: If someone has received a first dose and needs a second dose how do we schedule that?

Q: If we signed up for one of the pharmacy partner programs and haven’t heard when we’ll get our vaccines, whom should we contact?

Q: Is there a cost associated with the COVID-19 vaccines for facilities, residents, or staff?

Q: What are the guidelines for “phase 1a” of the NH COVID vaccination plan, which includes our residents and staff?

Q: What are the reporting requirements for vaccines for residents and staff in our facility?

Q: What do we need to consider if we want to become a vaccine provider?

Q: What guidelines exist regarding employment issues related to COVID vaccines?

Q: What if we don’t have a medical director?

Q: What if we don’t want to enroll in this program, but just need to arrange for individual vaccines for a new resident or staff?

Q: What is the process for enrolling as a vaccine provider?

Q: What should we do to plan ahead for dispensing a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available?

Q: What should we know about post vaccine considerations for staff and residents? (including testing, quarantining, visitation, activities etc.)

Visitors

Q: Are there any resources to help facilities with internet access for virtual visits?

Q: Can we allow tours of our facility for potential new residents and their families?

Q: Can we allow visitors from out of state? What about kids?

Q: Should we allow visitors?

Q: What are the recommendations for end of life visits and other compassionate care visitation?

Q: What is an Essential Support visitor?

Voting

Q: Is there a way for residents to register to vote without going to the town or city clerk?

Q: What are the COVID-19 related provisions for absentee voting?

This page updated 5/20/21

Information is changing rapidly as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves. Please take the links on these pages, especially the NH DHHS, which coordinates the COVID-19 response in our state, and other public health resources such as your local public health department, the CDC and WHO to find the latest guidance and recommendations.

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