Nurse Caring for Patient

Nursing Homes Given Federal Go-Ahead To Allow More Visitors

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulate nursing facilities, are lifting the ban on visitors, effective immediately. CMS imposed the restriction in March in an effort to control outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Advocates for nursing home residents and family organizations have been clamoring for a repeal, noting the many residents who have suffered anxiety or depression, as well as physical or mental decline since the ban was imposed. The issue was also raised in the report of the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, which became public on Wednesday.

Now, all nursing homes can allow outdoor visits with social distancing, as a few states have recently allowed. And most nursing homes can allow indoor visits as long as there have been no new COVID-19 infections in the past 2 weeks and the infection rate in the surrounding county is no more than 10%. But CMS recommends that nursing homes limit how many visitors a resident can have at one time, as well as limiting the number of visitors that can be in the facility at once.

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COVID-19 Nurse Gear

‘Just A Matter of Time’: Nurses Die as US Hospitals Fail To Contain Covid-19

Nurses at Alta Bates Summit medical center were on edge as early as March when patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised hospitals to isolate Covid-19 patients to limit staff exposure and help conserve high-level personal protective equipment that’s been in short supply.

Yet Covid patients continued to be scattered through the Oakland hospital, according to complaints to California’s division of occupational safety and health (Cal/Osha). Areas of concern included the sixth-floor medical unit where veteran nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder worked.

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COVID-19 Virus

Hospitals, Nursing Homes Fail to Separate COVID Patients, Putting Others at Risk

Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center were on edge as early as March when patients with COVID-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised hospitals to isolate COVID patients to limit staff exposure and help conserve high-level personal protective equipment that’s been in short supply.

Yet COVID patients continued to be scattered through the Oakland hospital, according to complaints to California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The concerns included the sixth-floor medical unit where veteran nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder worked.

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Chemist holding Coronavirus test tube

New Jersey Nursing Home Where Authorities Found 17 Bodies Sued For Alleged Failures During Covid-19

The nephew of a man who died during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey is suing the nursing home where his uncle was a resident, alleging that the facility failed to provide the legally required level of care while fraudulently claiming to do so.

The nursing home, Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center II in Lafayette Township, New Jersey, is the same facility where authorities found 17 bodies in April in a morgue meant for four. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is continuing to investigate Covid-19-related deaths at the facility.
Brian Roberts of New Jersey filed the suit in Sussex County Superior Court on Tuesday. The suit names the nursing home, a sister facility called Andover Subacute Rehab Center I and owners Louis Schwartz and Chaim Scheinbaum as defendants, in addition to unnamed staff members and assorted business entities.
White Pills

Senators Call For Federal Investigation of Hydroxychloroquine Use in Nursing Homes

Fearing the experimental use of hydroxychloroquine went “unchecked” in nursing homes struck by the coronavirus, three U.S. senators are calling on federal authorities to determine whether providers improperly treated patients, failed to disclose serious side effects or faced any repercussions from regulators responsible for oversight of the industry.

In a letter sent Thursday to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pointed to state inspection reports that cited nursing homes for treating residents with the antimalarial drug without the consent of patients or their family members.

Nursing Home Care

Colorado To Begin Allowing Indoor Visitation At Nursing Homes As Soon As Next Week

Coronavirus has been linked to the deaths of more than 700 senior care center residents in Colorado..

Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday that Colorado will begin allowing in-person visitation at nursing homes and long-term care facilities as soon as next week.

That’s welcome news for families and friends who have been cut off from seeing their loved ones for months because of the pandemic. Coronavirus has been linked to the deaths of more than 700 senior care center residents in Colorado as outbreaks of the disease cropped up at facilities across the state.

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COVID-19 Virus

Cuomo Shrugs Off Concerns Over Coronavirus Nursing Home Death Undercounting

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo brushed off concerns that his administration was undercounting nursing home deaths due to COVID-19 by not counting nursing home residents who died in hospitals.

Unlike the federal government and other states, New York is the only state to explicitly say it only counts residents who died on nursing home property from coronavirus in its count of nursing home deaths. Those who were transported to hospitals and died there are added to a separate count.

“If you die in the nursing home, it’s a nursing home death. If you die in the hospital, it’s called a hospital death,” the Democratic governor told Albany public radio station WAMC on Wednesday. “It doesn’t say where were you before.”

Cuomo explained that if the state were to count a death as a hospital death and a nursing home death it would lead to a “double count.”

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Medical Gear

1 in 5 Nursing Homes Short on PPE And Staff in Virus Rebound

One in five U.S. nursing homes faced severe shortages of protective gear like N95 masks this summer even as the Trump administration pledged to help, according to a study released Thursday that finds facilities in areas hard-hit by COVID-19 also struggled to keep staff.

Significantly, there was no improvement from May to July in the shortages of personal protective equipment, known as PPE, or in the staffing shortfalls, according to the analysis of federal data by academic researchers. The summer has seen the coronavirus surge across the South, and much of the West and Midwest.

People living in long-term care facilities represent less than 1% of the U.S. population, but account for 43% of coronavirus deaths, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Similar glaring disparities have been seen with nursing home residents in other countries, but in the U.S. the issue has become politically sensitive for President Donald Trump, who is trying to hang on to support from older voters in his reelection bid.

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Nurse Caring for Older Woman

How To Find A Nursing Home in A Pandemic: What To Look For and Critical Questions To Ask

In the first week of June, Karen Hirth did something the coronavirus had prevented her from doing for three months: move her 80-year-old Aunt Georgia into a nursing home.

It wasn’t a hard decision. Georgia had been declining both physically and mentally for several months. A broken hip had sent her to the Fondulac Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in East Peoria, Ill. a few years earlier for physical therapy. She knew the staff and liked the facility. Still, moving there permanently during a pandemic created some anxiety for Hirth.

“She was quarantined for 14 days, but now she can leave her room as long as she wears a mask and stays at least 6 feet away from other residents,” says Hirth.

So far, Hirth is giving her aunt’s nursing home high marks. Hirth gets regular updates from its social worker and recently has been allowed to visit Georgia on a patio with Plexiglass separating them.

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Senior Woman Sitting Alone

What To Look For In A Nursing Home During The Pandemic

In the first week of June, Karen Hirth did something the coronavirus had prevented her from doing for three months: move her 80-year-old Aunt Georgia into a nursing home.

It wasn’t a hard decision. Georgia had been declining both physically and mentally for several months. A broken hip had sent her to the Fondulac Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in East Peoria, Ill. a few years earlier for physical therapy. She knew the staff and liked the facility. Still, moving there permanently during a pandemic created some anxiety for Hirth.

“She was quarantined for fourteen days, but now she can leave her room as long as she wears a mask and stays at least six feet away from other residents,” says Hirth.

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