Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Massachusetts Long Term Care Command Center

The Massachusetts Long Term Care Command Center, in partnership with Massachusetts Department of Public Health, created and deployed rapid response teams (RRTs) to provide emergency staffing and infection control support in nursing homes experiencing staffing shortages related to COVID-19.

The composition, size, and duration of RRT deployment varied based on need but generally included a charge nurse, RNs, LPNs, and CNAs to provide direct patient care. RRTs also provided infection control expertise and on-site support for implementing outbreak testing strategies and cohorting within nursing homes. Triage and case management was informed by data gathered across local, federal, and state agencies. Teams were typically deployed for a minimum of 7 days to allow staffing to stabilize and to stop transmission within a building. There was daily communication across the teams on the ground, facility leadership, RRT leadership, DPH epidemiologists and staff to respond to the evolving needs of facilities.