Due to the nationwide surge in Covid-19 infection rates, elderly life providers are once again tightening restrictions and relying on pandemic-enabled protocols established over the last eight months.
Atria Senior Living has consistently emphasized the importance of the Covid-19 test as its foundation. strategy, And that is also evidence. The Louisville, Kentucky-based provider has completed about 18,000 tests in the past two weeks, reaching a total of about 150,000, CEO John Moore said Thursday at Virtual Town Hall. Atria operates more than 200 communities in the United States and Canada.
The test was conducted in partnership with the Mayo Clinic Lab, which is part of the Mayo Clinic based in Rochester, Minnesota.
When he called the Mayo Clinic Lab last Saturday afternoon, he suggested that Moore’s memory was still vivid and its influence could not be exaggerated.
“of course [it was] It’s a turning point in how we felt about our ability to survive a pandemic, but it could also be a turning point in Atria as a whole, “he said.
At that time, disease activity was concentrated in the northeast, and Atria operates many communities, including New York City and its surroundings. Although the tests were not yet widely available, Atria’s leadership identified staff monitoring tests as important to the safety of the community.
Although the population was thought to be largely protected because it was inside the walls of the community, the coronavirus could invade through infected staff during commuting and other situations.
The partnership with Mayo Clinic Labs began with testing Atria employees and expanded from there, allowing Mayo to consistently meet additional capacity demands.
According to Dr. William Morris, president of the Mayo Clinic Lab, this is primarily due to the robust global infrastructure already in place by the well-known Mayo Clinic.
“At Mayo, logistics is very streamlined and we fly FedEx planes from all over the country twice a day. FedEx carries its own cargo to Rochester, so these tests are very quick. You can do it, “he says.
On average, Atria receives the results of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 2.4 days of the test, Moore said.
Atria also utilizes the Abbot Binax NOW Rapid Antigen Test, which is distributed by the federal government to elderly livelihood providers. The advantage of these tests is that you get in-situ results within about 15 minutes, but the disadvantage is that they are less reliable than PCR tests. As a result, Atria’s strategy has evolved to include contact tracing associated with positive results from the Binax NOW test and support for the PCR test.
With so many different types of Covid-19 tests available, it’s “very confusing” for people to understand the difference, so it’s up to the organization to decide how to get the most out of the different options. It Is difficult. He praised Atria’s efforts to use the test in the most effective way.
In terms of what’s next at the forefront of testing, Morris says Mayo Clinic Labs is working on tests that will help predict how sick an individual will be if they become infected with Covid-19. I did. Knowing this will help determine who should receive treatment, such as monoclonal antibody therapy, and help reduce the severity and duration of the infection.
Another “very exciting” test under development shows not only whether an individual has Covid-19, but also how likely it is to spread the virus. Obtaining this information can reduce some of the burden that people are currently imposing on self-isolation.
Given the good news these days, Morris and Moore are optimistic about the outlook for an effective Covid-19 vaccine. However, they both emphasized that for the time being, a multi-layered approach to infection control is most effective.
They used the Swiss cheese metaphor. Each slice of Swiss cheese has a hole, but the stack of Swiss cheese has no hole. Similarly, each method of Covid-19 mitigation has its drawbacks, but together it helps greatly to keep people safe. These layers include hand washing and increasing social distance, wearing masks, and minimizing potential exposure to the virus. The test provides an additional safety net.
“It’s about trying to put together the right system … to make life in Atria better than living alone in a pandemic,” Moore said.
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