Updated Interim Guidance: Protocol for COVID-19 Testing Applicable to All Health Care Providers and Local Health Departments

On April 26 2020, the Department of Health issued updated Interim Guidance re: Protocol for COVID-19 Testing Applicable to All Health Care Providers and Local Health Departments.

This guidance document seeks to clarify the order of priority in which COVID-19 testing will be made available. Notably, per this policy, Personal Assistants in CDPA belong to priority category 3.

A summary of each category, by priority:

1. People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, particularly if they belong to an at-risk population;

2. People who have been exposed (within 6 feet) of someone who is a confirmed positive case;

3. Individuals who are employed as health care workers, first responders, etc.



On April 14, 2020, the Department of Health issued interim guidance on the Executive Order requiring employers to provide face coverings to employees. 

It is unclear from this guidance whether the fiscal intermediary or consumer is responsible for procurement and distribution of masks to personal assistants. Individual fiscal intermediaries will need to make their own decisions about how to comply with this guidance. 

This requirement is for face coverings, not masks, and the guidance defines face coverings as including, but not limited to: cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields.

CDPAANYS has sought clarification from the Department of Health regarding several matters, including this most recent interim guidance on face coverings. If additional clarification or guidance from the Department becomes available, it will be posted here. 

Consumers & Designated Representatives may not be required to purchase face coverings using their own money.



On April 8, 2020, the Division of Long Term Care issued an updated version to the March 18 COVID-19 Guidance for the Authorization of Community-Based, Long-Term Services and Supports Covered by Medicaid. Despite consumers going without services and personal assistants falling ill, the Department still requires that new personal assistants undergo health assessments, immunizations and tuberculosis tests before they can work. 

This guidance covers four areas relevant to CDPA:

1. Physician’s orders: Initial medical assessments for CDPA and personal care are still required but may be done via telehealth.

2. Initial Community Health Assessments: Still required but may be done via telehealth. MLTC enrollment eligibility criteria remains unchanged.

3. Community Health Reassessments: 6-month recertification assessments are suspended.

4. Annual Health Assessments for Personal Assistants: Initial health assessment, including TB test and vaccines, are required, but annual requirement for current PAs is waived. 

5. Facility Assessments: Grants facility directors of nursing homes/other facilities discretion to permit only “medically necessary” visits, per Executive Order 202.1.

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