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Coronavirus impact on nursing homes

Video Credit: WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL - Published
Coronavirus impact on nursing homes
Coronavirus impact on nursing homes

That was to switch to a hybrid schedule.

New at ten -- nearly 12- hundred nursing home residents and staff members in north alabama have tested positive for coronavirus so far this year.

69 residents and one staff member have died from it.

We learned out of the 40 nursing homes across north alabama -- all but two have had residents, staff or both test positive for coronavirus.

According to the centers for disease control and prevention -- 28 of those facilities had new cases as recently as the last week of july.

Waay 31's will robinson-smith has been tracking the data and the virus' impact.

He learned how they are responding to these cases and how that's helping families.

The c-d-c has been collecting data from nursing homes across the country since mid may.

Over the last several months, nursing homes have been grappling with the best ways to respond to coronavirus.

And now -- some have been able to bring back a little bit of normalcy.

Pkg: when you think of a warm family visit -- a plexiglass box and a couple of chairs probably aren't what immediately come to mind.

But for larry plott -- after not being able to see his 87-year-old mother, mildred, better known as 'mickey,' for three months earlier this year -- moments like these -- -- are priceless for both son and mother.

Larry plott, son of burns nursing home resident we're blessed that we have these moments with her.

They may be short, but we get to see them, they get to see us and for me it means a lot.

And rightfully, i believe it does to her too.

Will robinson-smith this box was built specifically for the folks here at burns nursing home and has been in use since about mid-june.

It allows both the resident and the family visiting them to talk to each other, face-to-face, without fear of possibly spreading the virus.

However, being able to allow these kinds of interactions was no small feat.

After getting their first positive case in april, subsequent testing showed 45 residents and 33 staff members tested positive here, many without showing symptoms. five residents died, but the rest, including mickey, have recovered.

Facility director cam dearman says he knows the solution for nursing homes.

Cam dearman, director, burns nursing home being able to test and get results quicker.

And there some help coming on that front.

Late last month -- the department of health and human services announced that especially hard hit nursing homes, like senior rehab and recovery in limestone county and brookshire healthcare center in huntsville, will be receiving rapid-testing machines.

78 have already been approved for sites in alabama.

Some places like valley view health and rehab in madison have built dedicated coronavirus wings with biohazard walls and negative pressure air scrubbers.

Last week -- governor kay ivey announced $50 million to help offset some of the costs nursing homes are seeing.

Back in russellville -- after being virtually free of new coronavirus cases for more than two months -- dearman says sticking to the basics will be a big help for nursing homes.

Cam dearman, director, burns nursing home social distancing, yes that can help, but keeping everything sterilized and clean, that's the main thing that we've been doing.

Larry plott hopes that moments like these -- will become the new normal everywhere.

Larry plott, son of burns nursing home resident monitors, we've dealt with those before and seeing them through before and seeing them through the window panes and there's nothing like being close.

Even though there's plexiglass there, you're close to them, as close as everything will allow and i think that's great.

Ll: right now, nursing homes are able to apply for some of that reimbursement money from the state through a memorandum of understanding.

We have more information on some other assistance for nursing homes on our website, waaytv.com.

Reporting in madison, will robinson-smith, waay 31 news.

Thank you, will.

In addition to the 50-million- dollars of cares act funds that governor ivey allocated, h-h-s also set aside 5-billion- dollars for nursing homes to hire




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