Colorado: Failure to Provide COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plans for Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Intermediate Care Facilities may Result in Fine

April 2020

April 22, 2020

On April 20, 2020, the Colorado Department Public Health and Environment ("CDPHE") amended the March 12, 2020 Public Health Order 20-20 which already restricts visitors at all Colorado skilled nursing, assisted living, and intermediate care facilities.  The Amended April 20, 2020 Order now requires all facilities to submit a COVID-19 prevention and response plan to the state by May 1, 2020 or possibly face a fine of up to $1000 or a year in jail.

COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan

CDPHE provides a detailed, nine-page template for a permissible prevention and response plan. The plan should be submitted to CDPHE through the Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division via email here. The plan must provide detailed analysis of prevention and response in the following categories:

  • Facility information;
  • Visitor and non-essential staff;
  • Monitoring of employee illness;
  • Mitigation of staffing shortages;
  • Monitoring resident illness;
  • Social distancing;
  • PPE for staff;
  • Resident movement and care outside the facility;
  • Isolation precautions;
  • Inventory;
  • Laboratory testing supplies;
  • Education;
  • Environmental cleaning and disinfection; and
  • Resident admission/discharge/transfers and room reassignments.

The amended Order also includes new requirements for isolation and PPE.  If someone tests positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19, they must be placed in isolation until:

  1. Their fever has been gone for at least seventy-two hours without the use of fever reducing medication;
  2. Other symptoms have improved;
  3. At least ten days have passes since symptoms first appeared.

Additionally, all residents must still have access to necessary medical care, including external providers.  External healthcare providers entering the facility must be screened according to the Order and must utilize appropriate PPE.  All employees must wear face coverings at all times while in the facility.  Residents and employees must also wear face masks or other face coverings when leaving the facility for “necessary activities.”  This includes employees leaving the facility in the middle of the shift for a necessary activity or a resident leaving the facility during the day for a necessary activity.

Please contact your Gordon & Rees COVID-19 Healthcare team for assistance in developing your COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan.

Visit our COVID-19 Hub for ongoing updates.