Posted: December 31, 2021

County of San Diego COVID Resources for Long-Term Care and Residential Care Facilities

With the statewide mask mandate reinstated in California due to the increase in COVID-19 infections since Thanksgiving1, resources are available for residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) to stay up to date with local public health orders. Choose Well spoke with Pam Plimpton, an Intergenerational Coordinator from the County of San Diego Aging & Independence Services department, to describe useful information for RCFE admins and staff in San Diego county.


The County of San Diego Long-Term Care and Residential Care Facilities Sector was formed as part of the Emergency Operations Center Education & Outreach Branch in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also known as the “LTC Sector,” this team provides: education on COVID-19; guidance from federal, state, and county authorities; technical assistance, such as securing personal protective equipment, testing supplies, on-site vaccination clinics, and infection prevention and control support; and overall support to long-term care facilities and concerned family members of residents. This assistance is provided through four primary avenues:

  1. Public Inquiry Response

  2. Webpage

  3. Email Updates/Newsletters

  4. Telebriefings


Public Inquiry Response

Sector staff responds to inquiries sent to the LTC Sector’s generic email address and via their webpage from long-term care facility staff and family members of residents. Common issues addressed include guidance on visitation, testing, quarantine, outings, vaccination and boosters; re-opening (hair salons and barber services, dining halls, group activities, etc.); requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and assistance with various other needs. The handout, “County of San Diego COVID-19 Response: Long-Term Care and Residential Care Facilities Sector,” lists links and contact information for the aforementioned services and support. 


Inquiries can be sent directly to LTC Sector’s email address: 



The LTC Sector webpage is a repository of information for long-term care facility staff, residents, and family members to access the latest Public Health Order, testing positivity rates, data, maps, vaccine information, infection control and prevention strategies, testing and PPE information, links to California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) guidance, scientific publications, and more. 


Communications at the local, state, and national levels are available and linked for easy navigation. Important information in this section include the State Public Health Officer Order for Health Care Worker Vaccine Requirements and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Long-Term Care Facility Vaccination Resource Guide. The toolkit goes into depth about vaccination for residents at RCFEs and their family members, including how and where to get vaccinated, side effects, and the booster shot. 


One of the most useful sections of the LTC Sector webpage is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Below is a sample of questions answered in the FAQs linked above. 

  • What are general recommendations for long-term care institutions before and during an outbreak of COVID-19?

  • What actions are taken during an outbreak investigation?

  • Is it possible to get testing for potential residents or participants in programs before admitting them?

  • How can I find out what long-term care facilities have positive COVID cases?

  • What special measures should be taken to help residents with dementia, intellectual disabilities, and/or mental health challenges during COVID-19?


Guidance links are provided for anyone looking for more information on various topics. These topics include:


Email Updates/Newsletters

Email updates/newsletters are emailed to medical and non-medical facility personnel at Skilled Nursing Facilities, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (such as assisted living facilities, board and care homes, memory care units), Adult Residential Facilities, Adult Day Programs, Adult Day Healthcare Centers, as well as County and State representatives, and constituents from the general public. These newsletters include local COVID-19 updates, Public Health Orders, state regulations and guidance, and other important resources. 


Ask to be added to the distribution list by contacting:



Telebriefings are hosted by the Sector Lead and include a County Medical Consultant and occur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 2:00pm. These sessions include an update on COVID-19, overview of state, local, and federal guidance and announcements, resources that LTC facilities can access and utilize such as on-site vaccination and boosters, testing, PPE, and an opportunity to ask questions. Periodic guest speakers have included representatives from the Community Care Licensing Division of the CA Department of Social Services, the County’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Office of Emergency Services, Public Health Epidemiology - Infection Control, Behavioral Health Services, Registrar of Voters, and other subject matter experts.


Sign up for the RCFE telebriefings by emailing:


Choose Well San Diego encourages RCFEs to regularly check the webpage for updates, reference free tools and resources, as well as join telebriefings if possible. The feedback and concerns of assisted living home staff and residents countywide can provide invaluable insight to make San Diego a safe place for older adults to live. 


For more information about COVID-19, including other sector teams supporting the COVID-19 response in San Diego County, go to


A special thank you to Pam Plimpton, Long-Term Care and Residential Facilities Sector Support of the County of San Diego, for her contributions to this article.