COVID-19 waivers of adult and senior care program licenses

The California Department of Social Sercices (CDSS) has issued a statewide waiver of certain adult and senior care program licensee requirements.

Facilities must limit entry only to individuals who need entry for prevention, containment, and mitigation measures.  A facility may also limit a person in care’s right to associate with other persons in care, as necessary for containment and mitigation only, not for prevention.  Facilities must make arrangements for alternate means of communication for visitors such as phone calls, video calls, and online communications.

Facilities may waive buildings and grounds requirements related to capacity or bedroom sharing as necessary for prevention, containment, and mitigation measures, as long as the health and safety of persons in care is not compromised, as needed to isolate or quarantine a person in care who is exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory virus, or who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Facilities may waive personnel staffing ratios as necessary for prevention, containment, and mitigation measures as long as the licensee is able to meet the health and safety needs of each person in care.

New staff at a licensed facility may start caring for persons in care immediately upon submission of a request to transfer a current CDSS criminal record clearance or exemption.

New staff at a licensed facility can begin caring for children upon submission of a criminal record clearance from a state or local government agency.  Within 5 days of starting work, the new staff must LiveScan.

New staff may start working immediately if they submit proof of TB clearance within the last year.  New staff must arrange to obtain current TB clearance.

New staff may start work as soon as they provide proof of completion of first aid training.  New staff shall be trained on specific tasks they will be performing and may not be unsupervised while children are present.  Initial training requirements must be met within 30 days of starting employment.

The age requirement for caregivers may be waived to allow minors age 17 to begin caregiving.

Current department-approved vendors can livestream approved courses that would otherwise be held in-person.

The waiver will expire at the end of the Governor’s emergency declaration.  (PIN 20-008-ASC, March 18, 2020.)