LTC Providers Encouraged to Get Ready for Flu Season

CDC recommends everyone be vaccinated against the flu by the end of October to avoid peak flu season. Long-term care providers should review their program requirements for guidance related to vaccination requirements and infection control.

Some of the CDC’s recommendations for vaccinating patients in congregate health care settings are:

  • The CDC recommends that LTC facilities offer the flu vaccine to all residents and health care staff throughout the flu season.
  • Residents with close contact to someone with COVID-19 and asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents in isolation can be vaccinated.
  • For residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are symptomatic, health care personnel can postpone their vaccine until meeting criteria for discontinuing isolation. The person should not be considered moderately or severely ill and should have fully recovered from acute illness as recommended by the CDC.

Administer COVID-19 vaccines without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes administering the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. Access the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine and coadministration with other vaccines for more information.

Adhere to standard precautions. They are the foundation for preventing transmission of infectious agents in all health care settings and help prevent the flu. 

Implement droplet precautions for those with suspected or confirmed flu. Do this for seven days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the fever and respiratory symptoms resolve, whichever is longer, while the person is in a long-term care facility. 

Per TAC Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97, report all outbreaks to the local health department, regardless of the provider type. Contact information for your local health department is on the DSHS website.

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