Health officials discuss the spread of COVID-19 in long term health care centers and the possible spread of the virus within schools

Coronavirus

Health officials are discussing the spread of COVID-19 in long term health care centers and the possible spread of the virus within schools.

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper released her remarks as she discussed the situation with Twinbrook Nursing Home in Lawrence Park.

Dahlkemper also discussed this issue with other nursing homes as well.

Dahlkemper claims that the virus is coming from the outside of these homes.

According to Dahlkemper, the COVID-19 virus is coming into these facilities from the outside, when speaking about longer term care centers.

The county executive specifically said that the workers who are around other people are the ones who are bringing the virus into these centers.

Dahlkemper added that people may also not be following guidelines such as the workers themselves, their family members or the general public with whom they interact with.

“It came to our attention having a conversation with Twinbrook that it was an asymptomatic worker who had been tested and tested negative and was now asymptomatic and that’s how it started spreading. These are the problems with people not following the guidelines and I mean all of us,” said Dahlkemper.

As area schools and universities return to in-person learning, there comes the likely hood of COVID-19 cases increasing as well.

The county executive believes that school districts are doing their best to decrease the risk of any potential spread.

Dahlkemper said that there are both pros and cons to not opening up schools for in-person instruction.

Schools have to decide what is best and look at the risk factor for their community.

Melissa Lyon, the director of the Erie County Department of Health, said that they have asked schools to look at the risk factor for their community.

Lyon said that if schools cannot meet a level of safety then they should take it into consideration when moving forward.

“We asked them to create an abbreviated risk assessment so they understand the risk of deviating from that guidance and mitigate any issue that may come out of that deviation, helping them to think through any problems and how they would prepare for that,” said Lyon.

Lyon added that if there were to be a spike in cases from the schools, the Department of Education and the Department of Health would need to make that call.

As of now, the Department of Education and the Department of Health have set a plan if that were to happen.

You can watch the full news conference by watching the video below.

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Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

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