Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Visit this website daily for the latest information that AHCA has to share about COVID-19. As concerns arise with the emerging coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, we are working with our state partners, including Arkansas Department of Health and Arkansas Department of Human Services to ensure nursing centers receive necessary guidance to prevent the spread of this disease.


July 25, 2023 – CMS Memo QSO-23-02-ALL – Expired Effective: June 5, 2023

CMS published a final rule which ended the requirements related to Staff Vaccination for all providers types, effective on 8/05/23. Additionally, this rule states that CMS will not be enforcing the staff vaccination provisions between 6/05/23 and 8/04/23. Effective 6/05/23, surveyors will no longer assess compliance with these requirements for any providers. This memorandum replaces memoranda QSO 22-07-ALL Revised, and QSO 22-09-ALL Revised, and QSO 22-11-ALL Revised to consolidate the information into a single memorandum. The guidance in this memorandum applies to all states.


July 25, 2023 – Update on HHS' Abbott BinaxNOW Test Kit Program

Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities continue to receive or are eligible to receive free monthly shipments of Abbott BinaxNOW over the counter (OTC) COVID-19 test kits from the department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This program, which has been in place since 2020, will continue through at least the end of 2023. As a reminder, facilities/communities must have an active CLIA waiver to be eligible to participate in this program. Shipments can be started and stopped, and test quantities can be increased or decreased by emailing The email must include: Name of the facility; Facility address; CLIA waiver number; and Request (stop, start, increase, decrease). Please note, it may take a week or two to update the shipping information. If you have an influx of test kits and aren't sure how to use them, keep in mind that since the tests are OTC, you can provide them to visitors, staff, or residents for their personal use as well. All tests that have been shipped to long term care facilities have expiration dates in December or January. The exact expiration dates for the tests can be found on the FDA website.


May 1, 2023 – Click Here for CMS QSO Memo 23-13-ALL – Guidance for the Expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE)


Notifications & Reporting Cases

April 2023 – The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) would like to inform providers that moving forward, COVID-19 case reporting will follow normal communicable disease reporting methods; as well as, required reporting through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

You can find the communicable disease form at the following link: CommunicableDiseaseReportingForm.pdf (

Additional information on reportable diseases at the following link: Communicable Diseases Arkansas Department of Health

If further assistance is needed, please contact the HAI Team at or 501-280-4368.

NHSN Reporting – LTCF COVID-19 Module


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)