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COVID-19 Briefs for November 9, 2020: Out of State Travel & Vaccine Updates

New York has submitted its COVID-19 Vaccination Program to the federal government.

It describes steps and protocols to ensure the safe and efficient distribution and administration of vaccine to New York residents. The document includes: guidelines and vaccine planning considerations; measures to ensure vaccine safety; a vaccine prioritization matrix; a distribution and delivery process; training and support of providers administering the vaccine; data and IT infrastructure to coordinate and monitor the program; public education and community outreach; and a budget and procurement process. A Vaccine Central Command Center is proposed to manage the entire vaccine program.

HCA will be reviewing this document and other communications or briefings about the state’s vaccine plan to determine what role the state intends for home care and hospice providers and patients as we work to ensure that community-based services are a fundamental part of the training, distribution, and vaccination processes.

Out-of-State Travel Restrictions Revised 

On October 31, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 205.2 which substantially revises the New York State Travel Advisory for domestic travel. The revisions took effect Wednesday, November 4 and do not apply to international travelers (which have separate rules) or essential workers (see applicable rules for essential workers here).

Under this Executive Order, any individual who has traveled outside of New York for more than 24 hours to certain states must seek testing prior to departure from that state, within 72 hours of departure, prior to arrival in New York. The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine according to Department of Health guidelines for a minimum of three days, measured from time of arrival, and on day four may seek a diagnostic test to exit quarantine. The traveler may exit quarantine upon receipt of the second negative test result. 

For travelers who travel outside of New York for less than 24 hours, the traveler need not test prior to departure from the state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival. However, such travelers must continue to fill out the traveler form upon entry and take a diagnostic test on the fourth day after arrival in New York. 

CMS COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted information to help providers prepare to administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available.

Agencies should read the enrollment section of CMS’s COVID-19 provider toolkit to learn if they need to take action. 

Note that: 

  • Many Medicare-enrolled providers don’t have to take any action until a vaccine is available make sure your provider-type enrollment is all set.
  • Some Medicare-enrolled providers must also separately enroll as a mass immunizer to administer and bill for COVID-19 vaccines when they’re available — find out if you must also enroll as a mass immunizer.
  • If you’re not a Medicare-enrolled provider, you must enroll as a mass immunizer or other Medicare provider type that can bill for administering vaccines.

OSHA 

The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has released “COVID-19 Guidance on Ventilation in the Workplace.” 

OSHA has also posted “Respiratory Protection Guidance for the Employers of Those Working in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Other Long-Term Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” While targeted to faciliti