The COVID-19 pandemic had a big impact on assisted living (AL), a vital setting in long-term care (LTC). Understanding the strengths and opportunities for improvement through practice, policy, and research are essential for AL to be prepared for the next pandemic and other challenges. AL communities experienced the pandemic in unique ways, because of varying regulatory environments, differences in familiarity with using and procuring personal protective equipment not typically used in AL (such as N95 masks), loss of family involvement, the homelike environment, and lower levels of licensed clinical staff. Being state rather than federally regulated, much less national data are available about the COVID-19 experience in AL. This article reviews what is known about cases and deaths, infection control, and the impact on residents and staff. For each, we suggest actions that could be taken and link them to the Assisted Living Workgroup Report (ALW) recommendations. Using the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) 15-year ALW report, we also review which of these recommendations have and have not been implemented by states in the preceding decade and half, and how their presence or absence may have affected AL pandemic preparedness. Finally, we provide suggestions for policy, practice, and research moving forward, including improving state-level reporting, staff vaccine requirements, staff training and work-life, levels of research-provider partnerships, dissemination of research, and uptake of a holistic model of care for AL.