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.

Skilled nursing facilities can join the monthly CDPH SNF Team for the LTCF Roundtable webinars to learn about any updates related to COVID-19, click here to register.

Federal/State Guidance Documents

Skilled Nursing

Assisted Living/Supportive Living


COVID Data & Reporting

Skilled Nursing

Assisted Living/Supportive Living

  • Communicable Disease Reporting Form (CDPH)
    • AL/SL facilities must report all cases of certain diseases (e.g. COVID-19) and outbreaks (e.g. gastrointestinal outbreaks) to CDPH. Click the link above to see a full list of organisms to report.
  • Assisted Living Incidents and Accidents Smartsheet Form (AL Only)
    • Assisted living facilities are required to report incidents to OHCR that cause physical harm or injury to a resident, including reportable communicable diseases. This requirement is separate from any other reporting requirement.


  • 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.


Skilled Nursing Testing Guidance

Category Vaccination Status Testing Guidance
Residents (asymptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Not required
Residents (new/readmission) Not up to date and up to date At the discretion of the facility
Residents and Staff (close contact to confirmed case) Not up to date and up to date Day 1, day 3, and day 5 post-exposure
(Day 0 is day of exposure)
Resident and Staff (symptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Immediately

*Testing is not required if a resident or staff member has had COVID in the prior 30 days, unless newly symptomatic


Assisted Living/Supportive Living Testing Guidance

Category Vaccination Status Testing Guidance
Residents and Staff (asymptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Not Required
Residents and Non-Healthcare Staff (symptomatic) Not up to date and up to date Immediately
Residents and Non-Healthcare Staff (close contact to confirmed case) Not up to date and up to date Day 5 post-exposure
(Day 0 is day of exposure)
Healthcare Personnel (close contact to confirmed case) Not up to date and up to date Day 1, day 3, and day 5 post-exposure
(Day 0 is day of exposure)

*Testing is not required if a resident or staff member has had COVID in the prior 30 days, unless newly symptomatic

COVID-19 Outbreak Response

Skilled Nursing

  • Facilities must ensure a process is in place to inform HCP, residents, and visitors of recommended actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by posting visual alerts (e.g., signs, posters) at entrances and other strategic places. 
  • When COVID-19 Hospital Admission Levels are HIGH, or if the facility is in outbreak, all residents, including new admissions, should be evaluated at least daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • HCP must wear a well-fitted mask while on the unit/floor experiencing an outbreak. Facilities should consider requiring an N95 respirator and eye protection during all resident care on the affected unit or floor.
  • 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

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
  • Example of signage that can be posted as a visual alert to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Assisted Living/Supportive Living

  • When a new case is discovered, identify exposures using person-based contact tracing or location-based contact tracing. 
  • Person-based contact tracing prioritizes identification of close contact who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
  • Location-based contact tracing identifies exposures based on where a person spent time while infectious. (i.e., housing unit, transport bus, dining area). Conduct testing of those who were present based on exposure risk. See table 1.
  • Residents and non-healthcare staff who have had a moderate – or higher-risk exposure should test at least five full days after exposure (or sooner, if they develop symptoms) and should wear a well-fitted mask while indoors for 10 full days after exposure, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If any additional cases are identified, facilities should consider adding enhanced prevention strategies.
  • Isolate staff, volunteers, and residents who test positive for 10 days. If the individual has a negative viral test, isolation can be shortened to 7 days with symptoms improving and fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, the individual was not hospitalized, and the individual does not have a weakened immune system.
  • Healthcare personnel should follow nursing home guidance for work exclusion, testing requirements, and return to work criteria.
  • IDPH COVID-19 Signage
    • Signage can be posted as a visual alert to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Visitation & Resident Activities

  • Facilities must ensure a process is in place to inform residents and visitors of recommended actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by posting visual alerts (e.g., signs, posters) at entrances and other strategic places.
  • Facilities should provide instructions on hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched, and use of PPE according to facility policy.
  • When COVID-19 Hospital Admissions Levels are HIGH, it is best practice for facilities to take extra precaution during communal dining and group activities. For instance, these measures include limiting the size of groups and staggering meals to reduce crowding in communal spaces.
CMS Memorandum QSO-20-39-NH on Nursing Home Visitation Revised 5/8/23

Personal Protective Equipment 

Skilled Nursing

  • Source control (e.g. masking) is recommended in the following circumstances:
    • For residents who have suspected or confirmed COVID when out of their rooms (COVID+ residents should only be out of room for medically necessary reasons)
    • For staff returning to work on day 8 with a negative rapid test (must wear for 10 days from positive test)
    • For individuals with respiratory infections (e.g. runny nose, cough, sneeze) until symptoms resolve
    • 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
  • When COVID-19 Hospital Admissions Levels are HIGH, source control is recommended for:
    • Staff and visitors in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities when they are in common areas of the facility where they could encounter residents.
    • Newly admitted residents for 10 days following their admission (day 0 is the date of admission)
  • Staff who enter the room of a patient with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection should adhere to transmission-based precautions and use a NIOSH-approved respirator with N95 filters or higher, gown, gloves, and eye protection.

Assisted Living/Supportive Living

  • Asymptomatic COVID negative residents or staff may choose to wear well-fitted masks or respirators, based on their personal preference.
  • Residents who have been exposed to someone with COVID, should wear a well-fitted mask for 10 days after their exposure, when around others.
  • Residents who have COVID or are suspected of having COVID, should wear a well-fitted mask or respirator for 10 days, when around others.
  • Staff who will have close contact with residents who are in isolation precautions, including during transport, should wear a NIOSH-approved respirator, eye protection, gown, and gloves.

Additional Links for Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living/Supportive Living

CDC PPE Sequence for donning and doffing
  • Printable PPE education, can be used to post in isolation/quarantine rooms.
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.
CDPH Bivalent Booster Family Flyer
  • Flyer can be posted in common visitor areas and distributed to family members to promote the new bivalent booster.
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.
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

  • 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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09/29/2023 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm cst

IDPH: Hospital Report Card and Fall Prevention - September 29, 2023

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IDPH: Isolation, Cohorting, and Enhanced Barrier Precautions - Oct. 13, 2023

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LTCF Contact

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