Montgomery County Outlines Plan to Protect Nursing Homes

Montgomery County has outlined plans to protect nursing home residents and staff.

Gov. Hogan recently ordered the Maryland Department of Health to publish data regarding COVID-19 cases and fatalities in nursing homes. According to the data, Montgomery County has been most affected by COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes in the state of Maryland. The county has seen a total of 1,203 confirmed cases and 164 deaths due to COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

In Montgomery County, there are 303 long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living facilites and large group homes for the elderly.

As a result, Montgomery County health officials seek to adopt preventive measures to protect the vulnerable population. Action Teams, compromised of public health nurses and disease investigation staff, will work with facilities to help combat COVID-19 and enhance infection control procedures.

According to the County, Action Teams will work with nursing homes and assisted living facilities to:

  • Review infection control standards
  • Ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) is used correctly
  • Demonstrate how to properly group residents and staff to limit potential spread
  • Show staff how to monitor residents and employees for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and identify possible new cases
  • Teach how to properly disinfect and clean rooms, common areas, and workspaces
  • Monitor list of residents and staff exhibiting symptoms and provide guidance on revision of infection control measures as needed
  • Arrange and coordinate COVID-19 resident testing through the State lab
  • Coordinate site visits from infection control consultants from the State and County action teams

To date, nearly 250 deliveries of PPE have gone out to nursing home facilities in the County. The deliveries include N95 respirators, medical grade masks, isolation gowns, gloves and face shields. Deliveries are made every two weeks, while facilities considered in higher need receive deliveries more frequently

 

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About Veronica Canales

Veronica Canales is a Spring 2020 intern for Montgomery County Media. She studies at the University of Maryland, where she is double majoring in broadcast journalism and French. She can be reached at vcanales@mymcmedia.org.

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