There has been a lot of talk lately over how to fight COVID-19 in nursing homes where outbreaks can have very fatal results.
One group of investigators have found one surprisingly simple answer, get the right masks and know how to wear them.
We joined those investigators and have more on how they think this will help.
Funding for the projects comes from a $6.2 million grant from the State Department of Human Services.
The goal of the department is to help healthcare systems in the region mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks within long-term care facilities.
Several teams from Lecom’s Regional Response Health Collaborative Program, also known as RRHCP, are helping to not only mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within long-term care facilities, but also educate staff members on their readiness and response.
“I think it’s very much needed for all the skilled nursing facilities,” said Dr. James Lin from LECOM Institute for Successful Aging.
The response team made their way to Twinbrook where the facility has seen an outbreak of COVID-19 among patients and staff members.
Last week Twinbrook reported that 45 of its 55 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 with 19 caregivers also testing positive.
The training is specific to each location. During an assessment they found that Twinbrook staff needed a better understanding of how to properly put on and wear an N-95 mask as one nurse explained.
Initially Guardian Health, the parent company of Twinbrook, declined the teams help. Later on, Guardinan Health determined that they needed help with the mask.
“It’s a great opportunity to spread the knowledge and help people out because that’s what we do, we help,” said Diana Donathan, Infection Prevention RN at LECOM.
The team has fit around 120 staff members at the nursing home.
RRCP will oversee 81 facilities across seven counties. Now the only stipulation is that each facility has to ask the team to come in and assess.
Dr. Lin stressed that his team is simply there to assist the Twinbrook staff.
“It’s imperative to the staff that’s working here. They have enough PPE gear and are protected,” said Dr. Lin.
Dr. Lin added that each facility has it’s own cares act money from the state that will go towards buying PPE equipment and testing supplies.