​A recent report in JAMDA offers new expert consensus recommendations for managing COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) with a focus on addressing screening of residents and staff, management of COVID-19 positive and presumed positive cases, communication during an outbreak, management of admissions and readmissions, and giving emotional support for staff.

In “Policy Recommendations Regarding Skilled Nursing Facility Management of COVID-19: Lessons from New York State,” the authors said, “Managing COVID-19 in this setting is uniquely challenging because the SNF serves both as a home and a medical facility.”

Without periodic widespread testing of all employees and visitors entering the facility, they observed, “It will be difficult to recognize when there is COVID-19 in the facility prior to its spread.”

Further, the authors said there is a real urgency for providing guidance to facilities and practitioners.

“Older adults have high mortality rates from COVID-19, and those in SNFs are at higher risk because of frailty, medical conditions, and need for assistance with activities of daily living. Research is needed into transmission patterns and to patient factors impacting individual outcomes.”

The executive board of the New York Medical Directors Association and the Board of the Metropolitan Area Geriatrics Society have endorsed the consensus guidelines, the article said.

The authors stressed that the information in their report is based on current knowledge and research as of May 22, 2020, and that their recommendations shouldn’t take precedence over New York or other local Department of Health (DOH) or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

Research for the article came from experts at the New York University School of Medicine, Mineola, N.Y.; University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; University of Rochester Medicine Geriatrics Group Geriatric Medicine/Palliative Care, Rochester, N.Y.; Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Commack, N.Y.; and United Hebrew, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Read the complete report at https://www.jamda.com/article/S1525-8610(20)30484-9/fulltext.