The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-02, which announces that the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has developed Residential Alternate Care sites (R-ACs) as a potential discharge option for COVID-19 positive patients needing a residential level of care and intermittent incidental medical support. The goal of these R-ACs is to care for COVID positive individuals residing in residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) or adult residential facilities (ARFs) that can no longer care for them, as well as to support the decompression of hospitals.
As noted in the AFL, R-ACSs are low-acuity sites that provide some nursing and medical services. Individuals admitted must be at a residential care level and may require some “health related assistance” but not 24-hour skilled nursing. The admission criteria for each Residential Alternate Care Site may differ based on the staffing level, equipment available and physical space of the site.