Kei-Ai Los Angeles Healthcare Center received the following letter from Zachary Rubin, MD:
I wanted to let you know that we are retiring the COVID designated SNF program as of March 15, 2021.
I made this decision with mixed feelings. The need for the designated facilities has receded somewhat over the last year since all SNFs in LA County are now very familiar with managing COVID patients and the complex quarantine and isolation scheme that we and CDPH rolled out back in May, 2020. At the same time, having an enthusiastic group of really knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated SNF operators, administrators and staff greatly simplified managing the complexity of the recent COVID surge and vaccination roll out.
The leadership at the LACDPH recognizes that your facilities have made significant investments of time, effort and money in developing and implementing your plans, despite sometimes unfavorable media attention that mischaracterized and misunderstood the goal and content of the program. It is unquestionably true that your efforts contributed to alleviating hospital surges, saving a few hospitals from adopting crisis standards of care that would have led to much worse outcomes. It is also unquestionably true that your facilities served as exemplars to other facilities, helping LACDPH better develop and revise infection control guidance that we were then able to recommend for other SNFs.
Though we are not yet through the pandemic, and we may revive the program if we see additional surges in the future, your commitment to providing a safe environment for your patients and for the residents of LA County is greatly appreciated. We will be visiting your facilities in the next few weeks to thank you in person for your efforts and look forward to serving as a resource to you in the future.
Thank you again for your great contribution to the health of Los Angeles County.
Zachary Rubin, MD
Healthcare Outreach Unit
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health