California State recommends establishing a plan for COVID-19 testing of residential care residents and staff and to develop other mitigation strategies. The purpose of this toolkit is to provide local residential care facilities with a summary of the current resource documents collected as of October 16, 2020 that provide technical guidance and best practice recommendations. It is important to note that the California Department of Social Services (CDSS)’s PIN 20-38-ASC serves as a primary source document that outlines COVID-19 testing and mitigation plans for all adult and senior care program residential licensees. Individual facilities are responsible for fulfilling the testing and other infection control recommendations outlined in the most recent source document PIN 20-38-ASC. In addition, facilities are ultimately responsible for finding and following the most current guidance from their licensing agency as well as finding and following the most current relevant regulatory guidelines.

PIN 20-38-ASC provides specific guidance regarding a number of testing scenarios including intake testing, surveillance testing, screening and testing of symptomatic residents and staff and response testing. It also provides guidance to best practices for caring for residents in isolation or quarantine, safety precautions, communal dining and activities and visitation.

An additional purpose of this toolkit is to outline how the County of Santa Cruz Public Health Division can support the local residential care facilities in developing successful COVID-19 testing and mitigation strategies.

We strongly recommend that all residential care facilities review and update their emergency plans and consider ways to continue essential services, such as planning for employee absences and creating a backup/on-call system, if onsite operations must be reduced temporarily.

The goals of this document are to help residential care facilities develop strategies to:

  • Prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 within facilities.
  • Prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 between and outside of facilities.

Roles & Responsibilities

Given these directives from the State, the County of Santa Cruz Public Health Division (County Public Health) acknowledges the immense challenge residential care facilities staff face to meet these recommendations. County Public Health continues to be committed to working with healthcare and community partners to finding solutions and to help meet obligations as directed by State licensing authorities.

Managing outbreaks is a partnership between County Public Health and residential care facilities.

County Public Health can support residential care facilities by:

  • Providing residential care facilities with consultation and recommendations regarding successful workflows and operational approaches for COVID-19 testing at local facilities.
  • Providing technical assistance and training to support residential care facilities with surveillance testing and ongoing preparedness (such as train-the-trainer opportunities, testing toolkit, etc.), continue to conduct case investigations (including containment measures) and contact tracing for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
  • Facilitating ongoing communications between residential care facility administrators and medical directors across facilities.
  • Providing Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC) resource requests for PPE and specimen collection materials when supply chain and commercial vendor options are exhausted:

Facilities are responsible for:

  • Staffing for your facility
  • Onsite testing or laboratory services
  • Transportation
  • N95 Fit testing

Recommendations & Best Practices