Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that coronavirus cases remain “unacceptably high.” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, urged Americans to follow health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. This weekend will affect how the virus spreads in the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
Just this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released data showing COVID cases in facilities rising in August. That increase came after declines in May and June following the initial peak in April, according to the non-profit. We need to prevent a second wave.
Harvard University professor David Grabowski co-authored a paper in the journal Health Affairs. The authors found one in five nursing homes still report “severe shortages” of staffing and personal protective equipment (PPE). For-profit facilities had acute supply and staffing problems. They should be able to prevent a second wave with all the money they got.
Grabowski told Skilled Nursing News: “There’s very much a “Groundhog Day” feel to all of this. We keep seeing the same headlines of cases in nursing homes, fatalities in nursing homes, staff bringing it in asymptomatically, a lack of PPE, a lack of testing. I could go on and on here — a lack of support for staff. I think that’s really frustrating. I’ve been saying this since March: It doesn’t have to be this way. We know how to fight this virus, and we have some pretty good defenses like PPE and testing and support for staff — and we just haven’t chosen to really invest in those.”
SAFE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
Wired Magazine had a great article about how good facilities were able to prepare and prevent or contain the coronavirus. The success of a handful of homes might offer their colleagues some clues about how to keep residents safe as the nation braces for a potential second wave of infections in the coming months. Here is the “secret”:
Start early with proper training and communication especially on proper hand washing.
Provide clear leadership.
Many facilities currently are restricting movement as much as possible, keeping people in their rooms and out of shared spaces.
Screen everyone who enters the building.
Train staff daily on proper infection control.
Document all care and services provided to the resident.
Isolate suspected residents for 14 days.
Provide safe and sufficient staffing.
Stock up on supplies and personal protective equipment especially masks, gloves, and sanitizer.
Increase regular cleaning of common areas and bathrooms.
Give staff extra breaks and flexible schedules.
Avoid any unnecessary contact by eliminating nonessential visits.
Purchase iPads so residents can video call their families.
The spread of coronavirus is not unavoidable. There are scientific ways to stop the spread and protect our most vulnerable citizens.
Nursing homes need to protect our loved ones. We can prevent a Second Wave. Call us we can help.