August 3, 2021 Residential Care Facilities Mitigation Guidance

AS OF AUGUST 3, 2021

The Health Department has again updated the RCF Mitigation Guidance, largely to provide clarification in this case.  Here is what has changed:

Mask use

Page 15-16

EVERYONE must now use masks while inside the facility (staff, visitors, and residents) regardless of vaccination status. There are exceptions for when only fully vaccinated residents or Health Care Personnel are present.
Exposure to a COVID+ case

Page 27-28

Page 20

Fully vaccinated staff and residents who have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for SARS CoV-2 must be tested using both lab-based PCR immediately following the exposure and daily rapid testing during their incubation period (14 days from exposure).
Vaccinated staff with close contact with an individual who has tested COVID positive are NOT required to quarantine, but unvaccinated staff under the same circumstances must quarantine for 14 days from exposure.  All residents with close contact with a positive case must quarantine for 14 days.
Conflicting test results

Page 31

When discordant results are identified between POC testing and lab-based PCR, CDPHE should be consulted prior to discontinuing isolation for a resident or staff person.
Activities and Dining during an Outbreak

Page 34

Unvaccinated residents should be excluded from group activities and communal dining anytime the facility has implemented outbreak testing.


CDPHE is supplying the POC rapid test supplies but facilities must monitor their supplies closely to ensure they reorder timely.  It will take several days to process orders, so they advise ordering a week in advance.

CDPHE has now developed a process for approving third party labs for the recently required testing. Labs must either perform whole genome sequencing on all samples and report these results to CDPHE or send positive samples to the CDPHE lab for sequencing. Facilities wishing to have their 3rd party lab approved for continued use should email  or  along with contact information of their lab’s representative. Facilities may continue to use their 3rd party lab during the approval process.

Monoclonal antibody treatments are being strongly encouraged for COVID+ cases, including those that are asymptomatic.  The treatment must be administered within the first 10 days following diagnosis or onset of symptoms.  CDPHE will host webinars about these treatments at the end of August.