Just a reminder

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 8/19/20

What happens in a nursing home when someone is ill with COVID-19? What should you do at home?

The Northeast isn’t seeing the sharp rise in cases that the South and Southwest U.S. are, but …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Just a reminder

Posted

What happens in a nursing home when someone is ill with COVID-19? What should you do at home?

The Northeast isn’t seeing the sharp rise in cases that the South and Southwest U.S. are, but that’s no excuse to relax—especially if you’re a senior. 

Nancy McGraw, head of public health for Sullivan County, offered a few reminders of what to do if someone in your family becomes ill with COVID-19.

If that person is in a nursing home, she says, “In general, all nursing homes follow New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance with the support of the local health department for any positive COVID-19 tests for residents or staff.” Nursing homes abide by the NYSDOH Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Control (HEIC) Program.

In general, according to the Department of Health in March, nursing homes should frequently sanitize surfaces, staff should wear masks and non-residents are unable to visit. Once there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case, residents remain in their rooms and group activities are canceled. Residents should wear masks (if they will tolerate them) when near a staff member.

Out in the world, McGraw says, “Any close contacts—within six feet for 10 to 15 mins— [with anyone who has tested positive] and family members of anyone testing positive should self-quarantine for 14 days.” If you live together, sleep in a different room and use a separate bathroom from the ill person if possible. (If not, sanitize the bathroom frequently.) “Wear masks in the home and frequently wash hands. Do not share dishes or utensils.” She quoted the following from CDC guidance: “For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.”

More can be found on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. 

Consult your local health department or call the coronavirus hotline for general guidance: 888/364-3065.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment