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Pennsylvania Nursing Homes Prepare for More Outbreaks in Supply Shortages

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Nursing homes are preparing for a potential wave of correlation between nursing home outbreaks and death, as the Pennsylvania Director of Public Health has warned that a second wave of the covid-19 community will spread.

Nursing home operators and staff are looking for more protective equipment to ensure that the next outbreaks in long-term living facilities are not as deadly and prevalent as in spring and early summer.

Approximately a quarter of Pennsylvania’s nearly 700 nursing homes did not have enough personal protective equipment during September, according to an analysis of federal data released by senior advocacy group AARP last week. Eighteen percent of state-wide facilities are concerned about staffing.

Last week, Allegheny County and Westmoreland County recorded the most new covid-19 cases since July.Dr. Rachel Levin, Pennsylvania Health Minister, said State-wide data show “autumn resurrection” Experts cannot predict when it will peak.

“We are definitely on the lookout for our care and nursing homes,” said Dr. Debra Bogen, Health Director of Allegheny County. “As we have seen in the past, nursing home cases tend to lag behind those seen in the community. Therefore, as community cases increase, nursing home cases will increase in the coming weeks.”

“No warranty” when blocking covid

Nursing homes in Pennsylvania have a mortality rate of about 66 per 1,000 inhabitants, ranking eighth in the country.

According to data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, this is lower than Massachusetts, New Jersey and Mississippi, but higher than Texas, Arizona and Alabama.

Facilities that stopped widespread outbreaks in the spring remain vulnerable to the virus, as evidenced by several outbreaks in western Pennsylvania.

Among them is one of Westmoreland manners, where more than one-third (at least 117) of the residents tested positive for covid-19 and three residents have died since late September. .. 34 employees have been infected. Authorities called on Pennsylvania National Guard in late September to support ongoing inspections of residents and staff at Westmoreland County-operated facilities. The guards left the manners last weekend after a two-week stay.

After reporting zero cases over months, outbreaks at the Kane Community Living Center in Allegheny County, Scott, reached 150 cases between residents and staff, killing 13 residents. Dennis Biond, director of the Kane Center, said 71 actively infected individuals had been quarantined or quarantined as of Friday.None of the other three cane centers in the county have active resident cases, as the Glen Hazel site has overcome the outbreak. Killed 16 inhabitants By mid-May.

Where most residents have recovered from covid-19 infection, the risk of staff and new hospitalization remains, and asymptomatic carriers working in nursing homes can pose a risk to family members and people outside the workplace.

According to state data, the Presbyterian Senior Care Network, which operates facilities in 10 counties, including care facilities in Oakmont and Washington, reported 33 covid-19 cases out of nearly 600 residents. did. Lisa Fishetti, senior director of communications for the network, said nursing home operators are “carefully optimistic” about navigating the next round of illness epidemics.

“We know there is no guarantee,” she said. “Despite all the precautions you can take, it is a highly contagious virus.”

More than 28,000 nursing home residents across the United States were covid-19-positive and 5,200 died between late August and September, according to a report produced by AARP at the Scripps Center in Miami. “It shows that the virus is still rampant in nursing homes,” Ohio University.

Bill Sweeney, senior vice president of government at AARP, called the findings related to sustained staffing and supply shortages “extremely disappointing.”

“This is a national crisis and no state is doing a good job,” Sweeney said. “The pandemic was unexpected for all of us, but basic infection control should have been in nursing homes for a long time.

“These are places where people are vulnerable to infection, and whether they are Covid or not, there are still deadly viruses in the air because these facilities do not yet have basic PPE. , Exorbitantly unacceptable. ”

The group will help the facility obtain PPE

Bogen said the facility was better prepared than in the spring with the creation of a state task force responsible for monitoring nursing homes.

Among the ongoing state-funded efforts is the Community Health Cooperation Program. The state has donated $ 175 million to several groups to procure supplies, evaluate infection control programs, provide face-to-face and virtual consultations, and provide guidance to support nursing homes in different parts of the state. We have provided a 24/7 hotline for the sought-after nursing home operator. ..

In some parts of southwestern and northwestern Pennsylvania, work is being done by the UPMC Community Provider Services, which submitted the group’s application on behalf of the UPMC, Allegheny Health Network, Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and Western Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Council. The group received $ 38.9 million from the state.

Program member Emily Jaffe, a geriatric physician and medical director of Allegheny Health Network’s Post-Acute Care and HM Home and Community Services, described the regional team as “the best healthcare collaboration I’ve seen in my career.” explained.

Members of the regional group began cooperating in education and outreach in early April. We distributed the first protective equipment and other supplies in early August.

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Coronavirus | Local | Region | Top Story

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