As COVID-19 numbers rise throughout the nation, nursing properties are making ready for an additional wave of circumstances to hit their amenities.
When nationwide case counts began climbing in late September, so too did circumstances in nursing properties, in keeping with an evaluation of knowledge from CMS and Johns Hopkins by the American Well being Care Affiliation and Nationwide Heart for Assisted Residing. Nursing properties circumstances had been falling since a peak of 10,125 circumstances the week of July 26. Deaths had been highest at the start of the pandemic when there have been three,222 COVID-19-related deaths in nursing properties the week of Could 31; nonetheless, demise information for nursing properties is not accessible for the weeks prior.
“The No. 1 consider holding COVID out of our nursing properties so we will defend our weak inhabitants is decreasing the extent of the virus within the surrounding group,” stated Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Whereas the assist we’ve acquired from Congress, the Administration and different public well being businesses have helped our amenities battle this battle, we might nonetheless see one other wave of COVID circumstances brought on by the sheer quantity of rising circumstances in communities throughout the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic unfold of this virus.”
Within the U.S., there have been 252,929 confirmed circumstances of COVID-19, 143,848 suspected circumstances and 59,626 deaths in nursing properties, in keeping with the newest accessible CMS information.
“Proper now, we’re not in an outbreak however we do not know when that outbreak will happen,” stated Janet Snipes, govt director of Holly Heights Nursing Heart a 90-resident impartial nursing residence in Denver. “We’re very involved.”
Holly Heights would not have any residents with COVID-19 proper now however has been finishing surveillance testing of workers after two asymptomatic workers examined optimistic on the finish of September.
“We’re very frightened about it as a result of we all know as asymptomic individuals current, it’s vital that we’ve the [personal protective equipment] we want,” Snipes stated. “We hardly had any PPE after we had our first outbreak, and it was devastating to residents and workers.”
Whereas Holly Heights has extra PPE than it did when the pandemic began, it would not have totally different sizes of N95 masks, would not have match testing for them and solely has a number of face shields, Snipes stated. The ability has been stockpililing what PPE it may in preparation for an outbreak and the approaching flu season however hopes the federal authorities will present extra testing, workers, assets and PPE.
The AHCA/NCAL and different long-term care advocates are calling on Congress to offer extra funding to higher defend in opposition to COVID-19. “With out enough funding and assets, the U.S. will repeat the identical errors made in the course of the preliminary outbreak final spring and the main spike over the summer time. We want Congress to prioritize our weak seniors and their caregivers in nursing properties and assisted dwelling communities, by passing one other COVID funding bundle earlier than they depart city for the elections,” Parkinson stated.
Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, which represents not-for-profit nursing properties, stated a brand new surge of COVID-19, coupled with the flu, might create better shortages of non-public protecting gear, testing provides and educated workers.
“People are below growing risk from an ideal storm of surging charges of COVID-19, the beginning of flu season and the failure of federal leaders to take wanted motion,” stated Smith Sloan stated. “How will we make sure that older People and their care suppliers will not be overlooked within the chilly?”