Last week, Florida Assisted Living Facilities’ (ALFs) residents and staff began receiving the COVID-19 vaccinations as part of Florida’s partnership with CVS and Walgreens.[i] This vaccine administration is the first phase of the State of Florida’s plan in administering the vaccine to the most vulnerable population: long term care facility residents and staff, persons over the age of 65, and health care personnel with direct patient contact.[ii] However, there are still many ALFs who have yet to receive the vaccinations, which has caused frustration for some.[iii]
This frustration has prompted the State of Florida to contract with CDR Health, a private firm that operates COVID-19 testing sites, to expedite the process.[iv] For those ALFs who are unable to obtain vaccinations through CVS or Walgreens prior to January 23, CDR health is supposed to be contacting the ALFs to schedule vaccinations.[v] According to an article by the Sun-Sentinel, CDR Health is anticipated to vaccinate about half of the State’s ALFs — about 1,900 – within the next 20 days.[vi]
While the rollout of the vaccines for ALFs is great news, ALFs still need to be diligent in maintaining its COVID-19 compliance mandates, as the State of Florida is still in a State of Emergency until the end of February.[vii] Provider should expect, and be prepared for, continued inspections by the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA), for COVID-19 compliance.
Since the pandemic’s outbreak, AHCA has taken disciplinary action against a number of ALFs for failure to follow COVID-19 protocols.[viii] This includes failure to maintain proper screening for visitors, proper PPE equipment for residents and staff, as well as social distancing. Failure to comply with AHCA’s COVID-19 protocols may result in Emergency Suspension Orders, Fines, and License Revocation.
Thus, providers should be diligent in their continued COVID-19 compliance measures. If you, or someone you know owns an ALF and is the subject an administrative action, please contact our firm. The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale has extensive experience representing providers at the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.
[i] COVID Vaccinations Start at Assisted Living Facilities in FL (baynews9.com)
[ii] State of Florida, Office of the Governor, Executive Order Number 20-315, entered December 23, 2020. Available at LG-BIZHUB-20201223003549 (flgov.com)
[iii] Seniors at assisted care sites will get vaccines soon – South Florida Sun-Sentinel (sun-sentinel.com)
[v] COVID-19_Vaccinations_for_Assisted_Living_Facilities.pdf (myflorida.com)
[vi] n. iii
[vii] State of Florida, Office of the Governor, Executive Order Number 20-316, entered December 29, 2020. Available at LG-BIZHUB-20201229030725 (myflorida.com)
[viii] See e.g., Miami ALF shuttered after half of residents caught COVID-19 | Miami Herald; see also Miami ALF shut down over COVID-19 violations | Miami Herald