Resources below aim to provide interim guidance for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in LTCFs.

Given the high risk of spread once COVID-19 enters a LTCF, facilities must act immediately to protect residents, families, and staff from serious illness, complications, and death.

Join the CDPH SNF Team for the COVID-19 Roundtable webinars to learn about any updates related to COVID-19, see side bar for dates and times.

Federal/State Guidance Documents

COVID Data & Reporting

  • SNF Case Reporting Form (CDPH)
    • All staff and residents COVID cases, including those who tested positive via a rapid antigen test, must be reported to CDPH.
  • CDC COVID Data Tracker: Transmission Map
    • Map with current COVID-19 community transmission for Cook County. Ensure that you are hovering over Cook County on the map and that Community Transmission is selected in the Data Type dropdown menu
  • NHSN COVID-19 LTCF Module 
    • Guidance for NHSN enrollment, training, and CMS requirements. Facilities eligible to report data to NHSN’s LTF COVID-19 Module include nursing home/skilled nursing, intermediate care facilities for individuals with Intellectual disability (ICF/ID), and assisted living facilities.
  • NHSN Weekly COVID Vaccination Reporting
    • Protocols and training to track weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and healthcare personnel (HCP) through NHSN.
  • Telligen QI Connect
    • NHSN reporting tips and support.
  • FAQ: COVID-19 NHSN Data (CMS)
  • I-CARE Enrollment Packet
    • The I-CARE Registry is an electronic web-based immunization data registry operated by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), accessible only to enrolled users who have predefined roles.


Category1 Vaccination Status High Transmission2 Substantial, Moderate, and Low Transmission2
Residents (asymptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Not required
Residents (new/readmissions) Not up to date and up to date Upon admission (i.e. day 0), day 2, and day 4 Not required
Residents and Staff (close contact to confirmed case) Not up to date and up to date Day 1, day 3, and day 5 post-exposure3
Residents and Staff (symptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Immediately
Staff (asymptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Not required

1 Testing is not required if a resident or staff member has had COVID in the prior 30 days, unless newly symptomatic
2 Check the CDC Transmission Map to determine transmission levels in your county
3 Day 0 is day of exposure, test on day 1

Updated Interim Guidance for Nursing Homes and Other Licensed Long-Term Care Facilities (IDPH) Updated 11/4/22
  • Page 8 details testing plan and response.
SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing in Long-Term Care Facilities Considerations of Use (CDC)
  • Guidance with interpretation of and response to results of antigen tests used to diagnose new SARS-CoV-2 infections for symptomatic/asymptomatic residents and healthcare personnel.
Abbott Memo: Binax Expiration Dates
  • Product expiry update.

Evaluating and Managing Staff and Residents

  • Active screening and taking temperatures before someone enters the facility is no longer required. Instead, facilities must establish a process to inform staff, residents, and visitors of recommended actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by posting visual alerts.
  • Evaluate residents at least daily when community transmission is high or when the facility is in outbreak. Evaluation should include sign/symptom assessment, monitor temperature, and assess respiratory status with pulse oximetry. For residents with COVID, increase evaluations to every 4 hours.
    When a new case is discovered, initiate outbreak testing immediately (but not earlier than 24 hours after exposure), test regardless of vaccination status.
  • Contact tracing approach: test all residents and HCP identified as close contacts or who had a high-risk exposure. Test on day 1, day 3, and day 5. If no additional cases are identified no further testing is required. If additional cases are identified, facilities should expand testing according to the distribution and number of cases (i.e. unit or facility wide testing).
    Broad Based approach: requires testing of all residents and HCP when a single case of COVID-19 is identified, if unable to complete contact tracing. Test every 3-7 days until there are no more positives cases identified for 14 days.
  • Report all positive cases using the SNF COVID-19 Report Form

Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure
  • Work restrictions for HCP with SARS-CoV-2 infection and exposures
Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages

QSO-20-29-NH (CMS)
  • CMS is requiring facilities to notify residents, family, and staff when COVID-19 cases are identified within the facility
Communicating about COVID-19 in Congregate Settings (IDPH)
  • Notification procedures to residents and residents'’ next of kin, guardians, or emergency contact when that resident, another resident or a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19
IDPH COVID-19 Signage
  • Signage can be posted as a visual alert to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Visitation & Resident Activities

  • Active screening and taking temperatures before visitors enter the facility is no longer required. Instead, facilities must establish a process to inform visitors of recommended actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by posting visual alerts.
  • Facilities should provide instructions on hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched, and use of PPE according to facility policy.
  • When visits occur in common areas, source control should be worn by the resident and their visitors when community transmission is high.
CMS Memorandum QSO-20-39-NH on Nursing Home Visitation Updated 9/23/22

CMS Nursing Home Visitation Frequently Asked Questions Updated 3/10/22

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • When community transmission levels are high, staff must wear a well fitted FDA-approved facemask and eye protection while present in resident care areas
  • When community transmission levels are not high, a mask must be used in the following circumstances:
    • For individuals who have suspected or confirmed COVID (or other respiratory infections)
    • For individuals who had close contact or a higher-risk exposure to someone with COVID (for 10 days after last exposure)
    • For individuals who reside or work in a unit/area of the facility experiencing a COVID outbreak (for 14 days after the most recent case)
    • For individuals who have otherwise had source control recommended by public health authorities
  • CPDH strongly recommends that long-term care facilities maintain universal masking, even when the community transmission is not high.

CDC PPE Sequence for donning and doffing
  • Printable PPE education, can be used to post in isolation/quarantine rooms.
CDC Community Transmission Rate Map
  • Map showing community transmission rates by county. Please note that community transmission level is not the same as community levels. Facilities should monitor at least once a week given that CDC updates the metric by Friday.
Optimizing Personal Protective Equipment Supplies (CDC)
  • Summary of strategies to optimize PPE supplies in healthcare settings during surge capacity when PPE supplies are stressed, running low, or absent.
PPE Burn Rate Calculator (CDC)
  • A spreadsheet-based model that will help healthcare facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19.
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 (OSHA)
  • Guidance focusing on protecting workers from occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
Respiratory Protection Program for Congregate Settings Template (OSHA)
  • Designed for use by personnel who have been suitably trained and charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing a respiratory protection plan (RPP) that addresses exposure to aerosol transmissible disease (ATD) pathogens and other respiratory hazards in congregate care facilities and environments.
Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (OHSA)
  • Before wearing a respirator, workers must first be medically evaluated using the medical questionnaire or an equivalent method.
Respiratory Protection Training Videos (OSHA)
  • Videos on fit testing, medical evaluations, respiratory protection for healthcare workers, the difference between respirators and surgical masks, donning & doffing, counterfeit respirators, maintenance and care, and the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard.
Respirator Trusted-Source Information (NIOSH)
  • Information ranging from basic respirator facts to more complex subjects on respirator function and performance.
Job Hazard Assessment (OSHA)
  • Instructions on identifying work hazards and conducting hazard assessments.


  • Educate staff, residents, and family members about the benefits of receiving COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Work with your pharmacy partner to coordinate COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents and staff
  • Allow staff who experience vaccine-related side effects to take sick time if needed
  • Have a clear plan in place to evaluate and document religious or medical exemptions
  • Ensure staff documentation of vaccination status and required testing are in accordance with CMS and executive orders
  • Up-to-date requirements can change, check the CDC Immunization Schedule for the latest dosage requirements
CDPH LTCF Resident Flyers - English | CDPH LTFC Resident Flyers -Spanish
  • Flyers can be posted in high-traffic areas to inform residents on the new bivalent booster vaccine.
CDPH Booster Staff Recognition Posters
  • Posters feature real healthcare staff from Chicago LTC facilities and can be posted in high-traffic areas to promote booster clinics in your facility. Each poster has a dedicated box at the bottom where you can add the dates to upcoming clinics or additional information specific to your facility.
Promoting Bivalent Vaccinations for Older Adults: Long-Term Care Provider Perspectives
  • CDC Communities of Practice webinar originally presented on February 9, 2023. This 60-minute call highlights successful strategies to engage older adults, residents, and staff in long-term care settings.
About COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  • Information on each type of available COVID-19 vaccine and when are you considered up to date.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical & Professional Resources (CDC)
  • Resources for healthcare providers related to the COVID-19 vaccines, including links to interim clinical recommendations.
COVID-19 Vaccine (City of Chicago)
  • Resources for the general public related to the COVID-19 vaccines, including how to find a vaccine provider.
Understanding and Explaining mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  • Learn more about mRNA vaccines.
Talking with Patients about COVID-19 Vaccination (CDC)
  • An introduction to motivational interviewing for healthcare professionals.
FDA Authorizes Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccines for Use as a Booster Dose

IDPH Stay Up to Date Signage


  • Treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 disease and hospitalization, especially in the elderly.
  • As soon as a resident is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact the resident’s medical provider to assess whether treatment is warranted.
  • COVID-19 Therapeutics and Prophylaxis (CDPH)
    • Overview of COVID-19 therapeutics and prophylaxis for non-hospitalized patients. 
  • COVID-19 Outpatient Treatment (IDPH)
    • Over of monoclonal antibody and oral antiviral medications for COVID-19 made available under emergency use authorization for non-hospitalized patients.
  • TREAT COVID-19 Flyer / TREAT COVID-19 Flyer (Spanish version)
    • CDPH in partnership with the Chicago Internal Medicine Practice and Research are offering the rapid response evaluation and treatment of COVID-19 program, an added resource to help respond quickly to large outbreaks.


Hand Hygiene


Staff Training

  • Project Firstline (CDPH)
    • CDC’s Project Firstline is a collaborative of diverse healthcare and public health partners that aims to provide engaging, innovative, and effective infection control training for millions of frontline U.S. healthcare workers as well as members of the public health workforce.
  • Infection Prevention Training for Long-term Care Facilities (CDC TRAIN)
    • The CDC training course is designed for infection prevention and control (IPC) programs in nursing homes. The course is made up of 23 modules and sub-modules and can be completed in multiple sessions. 
  • APIC Infection Preventionist
    • Infection preventionist developmental path using the APIC competency model.
  • CBIC Long-term Care Certification
    • Between October 16, 2022-January 31, 2023, the long-term care certification examination will not be available. The exam application will re-open for regular testing on February 1, 2023.

LTCF Reporting

How to Report COVID-19 Cases to CDPH:

**NEW**  Updated CDPH SNF Case Report Form

1. Report lab-confirmed resident and staff cases within 24 hours.
2. Facilities with no new cases must report at least once a week, by Thursday 12 pm (Noon).
3. Effective immediately facilities should not longer submit weekly facility summary reports, enter cases in the Case & Cluster form, or enter cases into the Breakthrough Case Report Form.

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Upcoming Events

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03/24/2023 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm cst

IDPH: Environmental Cleaning, Disinfection, and Monitoring - March 24, 2023

IDPH Webinar


03/30/2023 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm cst

Chicago Long Term Care Roundtable Webinar - March 30, 2023

CDPH Roundtable


04/07/2023 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm cst

IDPH: Facility Assessment and Infection Risk Assessment in Long Term Care Part 2 - April 7, 2023

IDPH Webinar


LTCF Contact

For COVID-19 Long-term Care Guidance and Support: