Navigate the Ongoing Challenges of COVID-19 with #GetVaccinated Resources

A common misperception that exists is that COVID-19 is no longer a serious virus, and some may even believe that it’s less serious than influenza. While the rates of serious illness, hospitalizations, and death from COVID-19 are significantly lower than during the height of the pandemic in early 2020 and 2021, recent data indicates that COVID-19 remains more serious than influenza.

Now more than ever, we need all members to build a resilient defense against the ongoing threat of respiratory viruses, especially COVID-19.

Download and share the latest information to encourage vaccinations in AHCA/NCAL’s #GetVaccinated toolkit at


  • Reimbursement Guide: Frequently asked questions on vaccine payment options.
  • Template Letters: Tailored for the organization’s Medical Director to residents and staff.
  • Talking Points: To assist with vaccination conversations.

Explore other resources at

Respiratory Protection in Long Term Care

Most long term care (LTC) centers had no need for respirators before the pandemic because any patients with airborne infectious diseases were transferred and cared for in appropriate and capable alternate facilities. Moving forward, however, respirators and the compliance obligations that come with them are now part of the expected infection control and employee safety programs in most LTC centers. Importantly, OSHA has an entire standard devoted to respirators, the Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). While the OSHA standard can be complicated and is highly dependent on the type of hazard and respirator used, the following highlights the basic requirements that affect most LTC centers.


Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Assessment Standard, and the Hierarchy of Controls

The Hierarchy of Controls
When conducting a hazard assessment to determine PPE, it is important to understand that PPE is only one control measure. In fact, PPE is the last safety measure to consider as you see in the illustration below. In long term care, we use a mix of measures to minimize occupational hazards. In OSHA’s vocabulary, this mix is known as the “hierarchy of controls,”  which consists of FIVE levels: elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The most effective measures are at the top of the hierarchy, with elimination and substitution being the preferred methods. These involve removing the hazard entirely or replacing it with something less hazardous. Engineering controls come next, focusing on designing and isolating hazards. Examples of such controls in LTC might be negative pressure rooms or barrier walls for protection against airborne infectious agents. Administrative controls involve changing work practices and policies, including infection control procedures and hand-washing protocols.

New Year – New Beginnings!

Is 2024 the year you’ve decided to become ANCC board certified?  If so, take the proven path to preparing for the gerontological board certification exam – AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep!

Find out more at

Stay Informed. Stay Protected. New Resources for Long Term Care Providers

With winter and holiday gatherings right around the corner, it’s important to be well-prepared against respiratory viruses.

For the first time, vaccines are available to help protect against severe illness caused by all three of the major fall and winter respiratory viruses—flu, COVID-19, and RSV. People may choose to get flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines at the same visit if they are eligible, making it easier to stay up to date with CDC-recommended vaccines, while others may prefer to get their recommended vaccines at separate visits.

For those people, there is no need to wait a specific amount of time after receiving one vaccine to get the next one. Getting all three vaccines at the same visit can help protect people who are at higher risk of getting seriously sick from flu, COVID-19, or RSV or who may not be able to return to their provider.

Scientific studies during the last three years indicate that it is safe to get both a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same visit. Additionally, coadministration of flu vaccines and the new RSV vaccines was found to be safe in clinical tri​als. While there are no clinical trial data on getting all three vaccines at the same time, CDC is continuing to monitor the safety of RSV vaccines, as it does for all vaccines. Getting multiple vaccines at the same visit may increase the risk of some side effects from vaccination. When side effects do occur, they are typically mild to moderate, like arm pain, swelling, headache, and fatigue. These side effects are usually short-lived.

Whether individuals choose to get flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines at the same visit or at separate visits, the most important thing is that they get all vaccines recommended to protect themselves against these and other potentially serious illnesses this fall and winter.

Additional Resources Available on #GetVaccinated Website.

  • Explore “Vaccine Information for Residents and Staff,” a hot topic brief for providers that emphasizes the crucial role of providing residents, their families and staff Vaccine Information Sheets (VIS).
  • Discover new insights in “Pneumonia Vaccine Timing for Adults” to help ensure adults stay up to date with pneumococcal vaccinations.

Access the latest #GetVaccinated resources.

Encourage Action During National Influenza Vaccination Week

National Influenza Vaccination Week, which runs from December 4-8, is the perfect time to get a flu shot. This week highlights the importance of flu vaccines which are crucial in reducing the risk of illness, hospitalization, and even death.

The impact of influenza is substantial, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating 9 million illnesses, 4 million medical visits, 10,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths during the 2021-2022 season.

Strengthening the Chain of Wound Prevention and Care.

Senior care facilities place a high priority on person-centered care and attending to the body, mind, and spirit of the whole resident. One critical facet of that care is skin health and wound management. The good news is that there are more technologies and treatments, as well as certification and training programs, to help maximize outcomes and quality of life.

Find out more by going to

Giving Thanks and Staying Vigilant.

This Thanksgiving, we extend our heartfelt thank you to our members who have been unwavering in their commitment to the well-being of the residents and staff.

​In the spirit of unity and vigilance, AHCA/NCAL would like to remind providers about resources to support their infection prevention and control efforts this respiratory season.

Let us continue to stand united in our commitment to health, safety, and the well-being of our communities.

Wishing you a joyous and safe holiday season.​

Boost Your Geriatric Care Competency for Less Through November 17

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course significantly increases RNs’ gerontological nursing competency test scores. Registrants can save $200 on Gero Nurse Prep through November 17, 2023 with promo code GNP23 (all caps).
New research conducted by AHCA/NCAL in 2023 finds compelling reasons to consider the Gero Nurse Prep course and ANCC Board certification for RNs. The new findings closely mirror 2016 and 2019 research results. Nursing facilities with at least one ANCC Board certified RN experienced:
  • Lower rehospitalization rates for short stay and long stay residents
  • Fewer deficiencies on average
  • Fewer Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations
  • More stars — twice as likely to be a CMS 5-Star facility (44% versus 19%)