Healthy at home. Gov. Andy Beshear and numerous leaders across the United States have uttered those three words constantly throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re words to take seriously and abide by, but what if your home is a nursing home?
News stories about coronavirus outbreaks at various nursing homes in the U.S. have flooded websites, TV stations, radio stations and newspapers all over the country, and it’s frightening.
Although most nursing homes have been extra careful and have implemented proper precautions daily, the virus has ventured into several of these establishments. When it does, it shows no mercy.
COVID-19 has hit Wayne County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in West Virginia particularly hard.
As of Monday night, there were 67 cases in Wayne County, 66 of which involved patients at Wayne County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Thirty staff members and 36 residents possess the virus.
As Dr. Kevin McCann, the Wayne County Health Department’s Health Officer, told WSAZ, tested employees who are asymptomatic may continue to work while waiting on test results.
That’s the scariest aspect of this virus. It may never cause symptoms that surface in some, and those people can infect others unbeknownst to them.
The virus has had a detrimental effect at Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a 140-bed home near Richmond, Virginia. According to ABC News, 42 Canterbury residents have suffered COVID-related deaths.
Back in February, the first concentrated outbreak of COVID-19 occurred at a nursing home in Washington.
As we reported at the end of March, local nursing homes haven’t allowed visitors to enter their doors since the middle of March, and several rules are in place to prevent the virus from infiltrating the homes.
Homes are short-staffed, and the workers are logging extra hours and ideally taking every step they can to keep every inch of these places sanitized while also keeping residents happy and entertained.
Working at a nursing home is likely one of the toughest jobs on the planet at the moment. Being a family member of a resident is also extremely difficult. And being a nursing home resident offers its own challenges.
Even if every single rule is followed and every single preventative step is heeded, there’s no bulletproof plan against this surreptitious virus.
Let’s be thankful for those providing care for loved ones in nursing homes. While patience is wearing thin inside and outside those homes’ walls, this pandemic will one day be over. For now, we’re calling our cherished ones as often as we can, and when we do, let’s remember to thank the workers for the commendable they’re doing.