CA Working to Help Slow/Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

Apr 16, 2020 | Community

S. E. WilliamsContributor

Across California, patients in care facilities are testing positive and/or dying from COVID-19 and those working in the facilities are also testing positive and/or getting sick with the virus.

On Friday, the governor announced actions being taken at the state level to protect both residents and employees of the more than 1,224 skilled nursing- and 7,461 residential care facilities in the state.

Earlier steps taken in this regard include the training and soon to be deployed addition of 600 nurses to support compliance with COVID-19 guidance. In the meantime, the state staff members continue to call homes across the state daily to provide support.

“Protecting California’s most vulnerable residents and the employees is a top priority – not only to protect public health but because it’s the right thing to do,” Governor Newsom declared Friday adding, “Older Californians, and those who are medically fragile, are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19, which is why we took early action to restrict visitors to these facilities. Now we are providing even more support for these facilities, their residents, and staff who serve them.”

Last month the state issued an order restricting visitors to these facilities, except for end-of-life and other rare circumstances.

Other actions in process to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at these facilities include retraining 600 nurses to support facility compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and to help care for those testing positive for the virus;  help slow the potential spread of COVID-19 in these facilities by creating separate sites to care for patients who test positive for COVID-19; and reaching out proactively to each skilled nursing facility on a daily basis to assess their specific needs and to identify and address any challenges they might be dealing with early on, among other efforts.

One additional initiative includes the provision of stipends to certified nurse assistants (CNAs), licensed vocational nurses and other critical staff at nursing homes to make sure their needs are met. A previously announced Facebook donation of up to $25 million was made available to provide $500 stipends as many as up to 50,000 nursing home workers, among other efforts.

More information is available online regarding the state’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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