Specialized Information for:

Nursing HomesAssisted Living/Board & Care Home and Community Based Services

Coronavirus Prevention in LTC Facilities: Information for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

Updated January 13, 2022

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, it is important for Ombudsman programs and other advocates to be informed and take precautions in order to prevent the spread.

The information on this page includes tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19, alternative ways to stay in touch with residents, and links to additional information. Jump to:


Visit the pages below for more information on:

Tips for Prevention, Communication, and Self-Care
Ombudsman Program Visitation
COVID-19 Vaccine
Recovery and Reentry Resources
COVID-19 Webinars
COVID-19 Training Series
NORS FAQs on Documenting Activities During COVID-19


ACL Resources

NEW! ACL: A Vaccine “Cheat Sheet” and More COVID-19 Resources - January 13, 2022

ACL: FAQs Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs - February 1, 2021

ACL: FAQs Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021: Grants to Enhance Adult Protective Services to Respond to COVID-19 - February 1, 2021

ACL: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs Reporting Requirements for CARES Act Funding - May 4, 2020

ACL: State Allocations and Program Allocations for CARES Act Funding (ACL website)

ACL: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program-Fiscal and Programmatic FAQs: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT)

ACL: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19

ACL: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and COVID-19 Overview - March 10, 2020

Emergency Preparedness and Response:  Model Policies and Procedures for State LTCO Programs - November 23, 2015

ACL COVID-19 page

CMS Resources

NEW! CMS Guidance (QSO-22-07-ALL) for the Interim Final Rule - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination - December 28, 2021

  • Attachment A includes additional guidance to supplement the revised memo that specifically applies to Long-Term Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities. Visit the CMS website for the revised memo and attachments.

REVISED! CMS FAQs on Nursing Home Visitation - January 6, 2022

NEW! CMS Memo (QSO-04-ALL) on Vaccine Requirement for Health Care Staff Suspended so Long as Court Ordered Injunctions Remain in Effect - December 2, 2021

NEW! CMS Guidance (QSO-22-02-ALL) Changes to COVID-19 Survey Activities and Increased Oversight in Nursing Homes - November 12, 2021

REVISED! CMS Guidance (QSO-20-39-NH) to State Survey Agency Directors Regarding Nursing Home Visitation - November 12, 2021

NEW! CMS Requires All Staff of Long-Term Care Facilities to be Vaccinated - November 4, 2021

REVISED! CMS Guidance (QSO-20-38-NH) to State Survey Agency Directors Regarding Long-Term Care Facility Testing Requirements and Revised COVID19 Focused Survey Tool - September 10, 2021

NEW! CMS Graphic on Visiting Loved Ones in a Nursing Home (Spanish) – March 15, 2021

NEW! CMS Guidance (QSO-21-14-ICF/IID & PRTF) to State Survey Agency Directors Regarding Visitation at Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs) and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) - Coronavirus Disease -2019 (COVID-19)  - February 10, 2021

REVISED! CMS Memo (QSO-20-31-All) to State Survey Agency Directors regarding survey activities and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the resumption of survey activities - January 4, 2021

REVISED! CMS Memo (QSO-20-30-NH) on Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations for State and Local Officials - September 28, 2020

CMS Memo (QSO-20-39-NH) on Nursing Home Visitation - September 17, 2020

CMS Coronavirus COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls
This page holds all Partner Relations Group Podcasts, transcripts, and audio recordings. CMS makes Open Door Forums and other presentations available as an audio podcasts. The Podcasts are available, free of charge.

CMS Memo (QSO-20-35-ALL) on Survey Activities and Enforcement - August 17, 2020

CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data - July 18, 2020

CMS Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19 - July 22, 2020

CMS Guidance (QSO-20-28-NH) on Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System updates, Nursing Home Staff Counts, Frequently Asked Questions, and Access to Ombudsman – July 9, 2020

CMS Press Release: Nursing Home Residents’ Right to Retain Federal Economic Incentive Payments – June 11, 2020

CMS Memo (QSO 20-32-NH) Release of COVID-19 Nursing Home Data – June 4, 2020

CMS Press Release: Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspections Results Available on Nursing Home Compare – June 1, 2020

CMS Memo (QSO-20-31-All) to State Survey Agency Directors Focused Infection Control Surveys and CARES Act Supplemental Funding – June 1, 2020

Read more »

CMS Letter to Governors – May 31, 2020

CMS Nursing Home COVID-19 Data Chart and Website – May 24, 2020

 Press Release: HHS Announces Nearly $4.9 Billion Distribution to Nursing Facilities Impacted by COVID-19 - May 22, 2020 

CMS Guidance (QSO-20-30-NH) on Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations for State and Local Officials (press release and FAQs) - May 18, 2020

CMS Press Release on Trump Administration Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic - April 30, 2020

CMS Guidance (QSO-20-28-NH) on Nursing Home Compare Updates, Nursing Home Staff Counts, and FAQs - April 24, 2020

Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Application for Communicative Technology Requests - April 24, 2020
Recognizing that visitor restrictions may be difficult for residents and families during COVID-19, CMS has developed this application template and application approval letter for requests for the use of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment funds to provide residents with adaptive communicative technologies. Applicants shall submit this CMP Reinvestment Application to the applicable state agency (SA). The SA shall make a determination on the potential of the project to benefit nursing home residents and improve their quality of care or quality of life. The applicant will be notified by the SA about a funding decision, and applicants may contact the applicable SA with questions about their CMP Reinvestment Application. For additional information review the CMP Application for Communicative Technology Requests Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for State Medicaid Agencies

CMS Memorandum (QSO-20-25-NH) on COVID-19 Long-Term Care Facility Transfer Scenarios - April 13, 2020

Revised Guidance for Nursing Homes (press release) - April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers - March 30, 2020

CMS Waivers for Long-Term Care Facilities: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 - March 28, 2020

Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit - March 28, 2020

Revised Guidance for Surveyors (QSO-20-20-All) - March 23, 2020

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes (QSO-20-14-NH REVISED) (press release) - March 13, 2020

Press Release: CMS Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronavirus - March 4, 2020

Suspension of Survey Activities - March 4, 2020

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention Concerning Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): FAQs and Considerations for Patient Triage, Placement and Hospital Discharge - March 4, 2020

Coronavirus – Updates for State Surveyors and Accrediting Organizations 

Hide text

CMS COVID-19 page


CDC Resources

NEW! CDC Guidance on Communal Activities Within a Healthcare Setting - April 27, 2021

CDC: Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 - April 13, 2020

CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes and other Long-Term Care Settings

CDC: Clinical Outreach and Community Activity (COCA) Calls – Coronavirus Disease 2019 

CDC COVID-19 page


NORC Resources

COVID-19 Recovery and Reentry Resources for Ombudsman Programs
Training Series: Understanding Trauma and Ensuring Person-Centered Care










NEW! NORS FAQs on Documenting Activities During COVID-19 (View the FAQs as a PDF)

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Postcard
This postcard is available in three versions and can be used by long-term care Ombudsman programs or long-term care facilities to share information about the Ombudsman program. Programs can personalize the postcards and/or print and share them with residents and family members. Version 1 - 8.2 x 5.8 PostcardVersion 2 - Printable Half Sheet, Version 3 - Printable Half Sheet with space for program contact information 

NORC Infection Control Issue Page


Consumer Voice Resources

Consumer Voice: COVID-19 Homepage
Consumer Voice: Visitation in Long-Term Care Facilities
Consumer Voice: State COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies


Quick Resources:

CMS Responds to Consumer Voice's Visitation Questions - September 28, 2021

Nursing Home Visitation and Quarantine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) & Advocacy Strategies for Families

Should I Take My Loved One Home During the COVID-19 Crisis?

Keeping Family Together During COVID-19: A Checklist

Taking Care of You: Tips for the resident

Taking Care of You: Tips for the family caregiver

COVID-19 and Nursing Homes: What Residents and Families Need to Know

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Family Advocacy for Nursing Home Residents During COVID-19

Family Councils and Advocacy During COVID-19

COVID-19 Recommendations for Protecting Residents and Staff of Long-Term Care Facilities

States' Public Release of Information Regarding Covid-19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers: Summary of CMS Waivers for Nursing Homes

Consumer Voice Summaries:

Consumer Voice Summary of the CDC’s Guidance on Quarantine for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities - April 8, 2021

Consumer Voice Summary of of March 10, 2021 Revised CMS Guidance on Visitation - April 2, 2021

Consumer Voice Summary of CMS Memo on COVID-19 Survey Activities - January 6, 2021

Consumer Voice Summary of CMS Information Related to COVID-19 Released June 1, 2020 - June 4, 2020

Consumer Voice Summary of Supplemental Information for Transfer/Discharge Issued by CMS - April 13, 2020

Consumer Voice Summary of Supplemental Information for Transfer/Discharge Issued by CMS - April 13, 2020

Consumer Voice Summary of CMS Waivers for Long-Term Care Facilities - March 28, 2020


Additional Resources and Information


NCLER Fact Sheet: Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and Stimulus Checks: What You Need to Know - Updated August 2021

NCLER Fact Sheet: Nursing Home Residents, Medicaid, and Stimulus Checks: What You Need to Know -  Updated August 2021

Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers

KFF: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus - July 27, 2020

HHS and FEMA: Free Face Coverings for the Aging and Disability Networks - June 18, 2020

Alzheimer's Association COVID-19 Resources - June 2, 2020

FEMA: COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season - May 2020

Dementia and COVID-19: How to Help People Living with Cognitive Changes - May 21, 2020

NCLER Practice Tip on Stimulus Payments and Representative Payees: What You Need to Know - May 28, 2020

NCLER Tip Sheet: Advance Care Planning and COVID-19 - May 20, 2020

Institute on Aging Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Related Scams (English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian) - May 15, 2020

American Bar Association: Frequently Asked Questions by Guardians about the COVID-19 Pandemic - Updated June 16, 2020

Read more»

Kaiser Family Foundation: State Reporting of Cases and Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities - April 23, 2020

Letter to Faith Community Leaders to Increase Efforts to Connect with and Support Older Survivors of Abuse - April 23, 2020

American Council on Aging: Do COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Impact Eligibility for Persons on Medicaid? In Nursing Homes? Or Spouses? - April 16, 2020

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications during the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency (memo) - March 17, 2020

Alzheimer’s Association: Emergency Preparedness: Caring for persons living with dementia in a long-term or community-based care setting (press release) - March 30, 2020

Alzheimer's Association Webpage: COVID-19 Tips for Dementia Caregivers in Long-Term or Community-Based Settings 

NCOA: Tools for Reaching a Remote Audience - April 3, 2020

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Signed into Law
The President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law. The Act provides a total of $2.2 trillion, with $955 million directed to Administration for Community Living (ACL) programs, which includes $20 million for the Ombudsman Program under Title VII of the Older Americans Act (OAA). ACL staff are developing FAQs and other technical assistance materials which will be available on the ACL COVID-19 page. Read more on the CARES Act on the ACL website.

Justice in Aging: Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living During the COVID-19 Emergency Webinar Recording (PowerPoint Slides)

AMDA: COVID-19 in PALTC settings

Long-Term Care Community Coalition: Protecting Vulnerable Residents from Coronavirus

Hide text