At a time when the entire world is reeling from the novel coronavirus outbreak, a nursing home in sunny California is leading by example in terms of protecting its inmates. Their strategy of regular testing to help identify, contain and prevent the Covid-19 infections have gotten amazing results and the long-term care nursing facility has managed to influence nursing homes all over the world into following their footsteps. According to a report released in May by Kaiser Family Foundation, more than half of the total mortalities in 14 states of the U.S came from nursing homes. Nursing homes have definitely been hit hard by the recent coronavirus pandemic.
In these difficult times, 1 nursing home has managed to rise to the occasion and set an example for the entire world. On March 28, 2 of the residents at the nursing home tested positive. Following the results, all 99 residents and 136 staff members were tested in the entire month. After the testing, it was revealed that a total of 19 residents and 8 staff members had been infected with coronavirus. One of the residents recently passed away due to the infection. In order to put a halt on the chain of infections, the care facility started routine screening for signs and symptoms of its residents as well as staff members. In addition to that, everyone was also tested weekly for the COVID-19 infection. The tests revealed that 14 out of the 19 residents and 4 out of the 8 staff members were asymptomatic. The nursing facility also witnessed a large number of people getting infected with the coronavirus in the initial month but with proper testing, they were able to limit the infections in just the first few weeks.
A huge setback of this regular testing has been the financial burden. In order to help them out with their financial woes, several states have taken a pledge to cover the testing costs for these nursing homes. In addition to the financial troubles, nursing facilities with patients suffering from dementia have stated that regular nasal swabs can be highly traumatic for the patients. Hence, they have resorted to carrying out baseline testing for all individuals, and then further testing will be done only for high-risk patients such as those undergoing dialysis.
The heads of the States are coming up with newer and better guidelines for the nursing care facilities to reopen. The nursing care facility heads know the requirements of their residents and their staff more than anybody else. Hence, it is essential that hospitals, nursing care facilities, and local healthcare providers reach a common ground in terms of specifying the guidelines for better control of infections at a lower cost.