Community Spread = Spike in Nursing Homes

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, Studies

As we continue our journey through the COVID-19 Pandemic, it appears that we have hit another hurdle in our efforts to avoid the spread of the virus in our centers. The American Health Care Association/ National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released a report in Provider magazine on 8-11-2020 that states “skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) experiencing an ‘alarming spike’ in COVID-19 cases due to community spread among the general population”. These findings are based on recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Per David Grabowski, MD, professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, “according to preliminary research presented, larger facilities located in urban areas with large populations, particularly in counties with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 cases, were more likely to have reported cases”.

What does this mean to you, the provider? It should mean a lot especially as you dip your toes in the water of “reopening” visitation, communal dining, group activities, etc. It is evident that our seniors miss the interaction with family and friends and the goal should be to provide some face-to-face time as soon as possible. However, if you are in a community with an uptick in COVID-19 cases, it may be wise to step back, take a deep breath and pause.

Remember, our goal at the end of the day is to provide care with a focus on reducing the risk of spreading infection to our residents and staff. Please take the time to read the information in the Provider link here, stay on top of recommendations from the experts and keep the CDC and CMS websites open in your browser to stay current with what is recommended. As always, stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned!