COVID-19 Updates and Resources: 4/3 – 4/9

Apr 9, 2020

MHAC is continuing to collect and share updates on COVID-19 from state government, federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, and other key stakeholders.

These updates are to help and inform a wide range of individuals and partners, including communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly.

Please see the latest updates below:

  • Baker-Polito Administration Announces Increased Resources For Health Care Providers, Expanded Support For Long-Term Care Facilities, COVID-19 Testing Initiatives

The administration announced a new financial package to support providers through the MassHealth program. The Administration also announced new resources to support older adults living in long-term care facilities and their families, including a Nursing Home Mobile Testing Program and a Nursing Home Family Resource Line. Additionally, the Administration and CVS announced a new rapid-testing site in Lowell.

See the full press release here.

  • Baker-Polito Administration Announces Testing Site Expansion, New Restrictions For Grocery Stores, Crisis Standards of Care Recommendations

The Administration announced an expansion of COVID-19 testing sites for public safety personnel, new Crisis Standards of Care documentation for the Commonwealth’s health care facilities, and new guidance to further promote social distancing at grocery stores.

See the full press release here.

  • State allows Verbal Consent on MOLST

Honoring Choices Massachusetts announced that, for the duration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the state has suspended the standard requirement of a written signature on a MOLST form (Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) and allows for verbal consent, to be reliably honored by all EMS personnel and licensed practitioners in hospitals, long-term care facilities and across all health care settings.

The guidance is available here: Emergency Update to Protocol 7.3: Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) and Comfort Care/ Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order Verification.

  • National League of Cities (NLC) Promotes Local Action Tracker of Municipal Practices in Response to COVID-19

Thanks to the AARP Livable Communities team for pointing out this resource that tracks municipal practices in response to COVID-19. The NLC online spreadsheet can be filtered to view “population impacted,” which includes “seniors,” “low income,” and “general public.”

  • Tufts Health Plan Foundation Creates COVID-19 Resource Page

The Foundation has created a special webpage to highlight their additional support to the healthy aging network and flexibility to grantees to address COVID-19. They have also shared other helpful resources as well as info from Tufts Health Plan to assist members, providers, employers and brokers.

  • LeadingAge MA Creates Resource List and Best Practices for Providers

With the intense focus on the outbreak of COVID-19, and the potential impact on older adults, LeadingAge Massachusetts has compiled some helpful resources for their members to assist with their planning and preparedness efforts. These tips may be helpful to other stakeholders as well.

LeadingAge MA will continue to update these resources as additional information becomes available.

  • MassHealth Updates PCA Program Consumer Info During COVID-19

MassHealth is committed to supporting members receiving Personal Care Attendant services to remain in their homes to reduce exposure to and spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), as well as preserve health system capacity during this public health emergency.

This guidance includes valuable information for consumers, including what to do if people have trouble finding PCA services and what policies are being expanded in response to COVID-19 (such as suspending PCA overtime limits).

  • AARP Promotes Census Response Resources

AARP created a website featuring fact sheets, job opportunities, videos and other resources underlining the importance of the 2020 Census. Check out the webpage here.