New mandated guidelines were put into effect nationwide for nursing homes concerning the reporting of COVID-19 cases on Sunday by the Center For Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS).

The mandate addresses nursing facilities not reporting the existence or extent of cases within a facility. The Federal Government now requires facilities to notify residents, family of residents and representatives when residents or staff contract the illness. Notification must come within 12 hours of a confirmed single case of COVID-19. Residents, families of residents and representatives must also be notified if three or more residents develop respiratory symptoms within a 72 hour period.

New rules also require nursing homes to report COVID-19 cases directly to the Center For Disease Control (CDC) . The CDC is now working to compile a database containing occurrence of the illness.
Nursing homes are already required to report these cases to state and local public health officials.

Nursing homes are considered “ground zero” for COVID-19 according to CMS administrators. The new rules also require nursing homes to detail measures the facility is taking to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Nursing home facilities house some of the most vulnerable of high-risk individuals.