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Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Reporting information about infectious illnesses, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), is often required in our settings. Two reporting mechanisms are in place to collect data, including the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Each assisted living and all nursing homes have different reporting requirements depending on the infectious disease.

Nursing home required reporting

Nursing homes are required to report multiple data points to NHSN and MDH.

Reportable information about influenza and COVID-19 to NHSN includes:

  • Weekly COVID-19 aggregate case counts

  • Weekly COVID-19 vaccination data

  • Resident deaths

  • Influenza staff vaccinations one time during the influenza season by March 2023

Required nursing home reports to MDH include:

  • Influenza outbreaks

  • RSV outbreaks

  • Influenza related deaths

  • RSV related deaths

  • COVID-19 related deaths

Nursing homes are required to report test results for any point of care (POC) tests completed onsite. The organization may choose to report this information through NHSN or to MDH via RePortal.

Assisted living required reporting

The reporting requirements for assisted living are different from nursing homes. Assisted living organizations are required to report the following to MDH:

  • COVID-19 aggregate case counts weekly – only if there is an existing case for the week. ALs may choose to report on weeks where there are no cases, but this is not required.

  • Influenza deaths

  • RSV deaths

  • COVID-19 deaths

  • Positive COVID-19 test results

Organizations may choose to report COVID-19 case counts through either MDH or NHSN but do not need to report to both.

Defining an outbreak

An influenza or RSV outbreak is at least one lab-confirmed case in a resident, plus other respiratory illnesses in the building. The other respiratory illness in the building does not have to be lab-confirmed influenza or RSV; it is only another symptomatic respiratory resident illness.

A COVID-19 outbreak is one new confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or one new confirmed case in a staff member who worked in the organization in the 48 hours before a positive test result of symptom onset.

Confirmation with ICAR for assisted living reporting of influenza and RSV

There was confusion over whether assisted livings are required to report cases of influenza or RSV. The Infection Assessment Control and Response program (ICAR) confirmed that assisted living settings are not required to report occurrences of influenza or RSV; however, assisted livings may report if they choose.

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