Skilled nursing facilities have been among the top hotspots for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States, and this week San Diego County reported five more outbreaks in nursing homes than the week before. .
Throughout the pandemic, 70 outbreaks have occurred in skilled nursing facilities in the county, accounting for 19% of its 362 total outbreaks. There are currently 34 active outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, with 788 residents and 515 staff members testing positive for COVID-19, public health officer Wilma Wooten said at a press conference Wednesday.
Last week, the county reported 65 total outbreaks, 32 of which were active, representing 780 resident cases, 501 healthcare worker cases and 150 deaths.
A cluster of COVID-19 cases is considered an outbreak when three or more people from separate households test positive for the coronavirus over a 14-day period. The home is considered inactive once no new positive cases have been detected for two weeks.
The county also reported three additional deaths from COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff, bringing the total to 153.
Currently, no qualified nursing facilities are allowed to resume indoor visitation in San Diego County, according to a list from the California Department of Public Health released Tuesday.
To be able to allow one designated indoor visitor per resident, there must be a drop in new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for the community. A facility must also have adequate staff, access to adequate testing, and an approved COVID-19 mitigation plan, and no resident or staff must test positive for COVID-19 for 14 days. .
Establishments that do not meet indoor visitation requirements may schedule visits to spaces that allow physical distancing of 6 feet or more in outdoor spaces or large common areas, or through the window of a resident. They can also administer phone or video visits, create a group email to notify families, assign a staff member to speak with families regularly, or offer a phone line with a regularly updated voice recording with information about retirement house.
Of California’s five most populous counties — a group that also includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties — San Diego has the lowest number of cases for the general public per capita, according to the dashboard. county coronavirus tracking.
When it comes to positive testing for nursing home residents, San Diego County also had the fewest nursing home residents testing positive for the coronavirus, and it has the smallest percentage of cases compared to the county. overall population of the county.
Use this map to see how many COVID-19 cases and deaths are attributed to each skilled nursing facility in San Diego County as of August 19, 2020 at noon. Green dots represent facilities where no cases of COVID-19 have been reported, orange dots are facilities with fewer than 11 cases in one or more categories, and red dots are facilities with 11 or more cases in at least one category. (Lauren J. Mapp/The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Sources: California Department of Public Health Database, Reo Vista Healthcare
In Orange County, 1,920 nursing home residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and 329 residents have died, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency dashboard.
As nursing homes in California continue to work to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading among residents and staff, fire season is underway, with hundreds of California wildfires on Friday, including about two dozen of major fires, mostly in Northern California with at least 36 wildfires actively burning in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A new letter from all California Department of Public Health facilities was released Thursday asking skilled nursing facilities to review and modify their emergency action plans so residents can still be protected from the coronavirus. during emergency events.
Some of the requirements for facilities include developing plans for transferring residents to other facilities, discharging residents who can safely return to the community, providing emergency care to residents of other facilities and setting up a system to track on-duty staff and residents. . The letter recommends that skilled nursing facilities partner with several other health care facilities in case patients need to be transferred in an emergency.
“Facilities must be prepared for natural disasters and emergencies such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes and widespread severe illness,” the letter states. “To ensure the safety of residents and staff in emergency situations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends that all SNFs review and modify, as necessary, their contingency plans to ensure COVID-19 infection control measures are taken into account. ”