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Or do they keep it hush hush?

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Yes, each facility is required to report cases of communicable illnesses like COVID19 directly to the state. The info is then published publicly. Each day in Colorado, a list of residential care communities with outbreaks is published, along with the number of cases & number (if any) of deaths. So far, we have 54 homes with outbreaks here. Obviously, the facilities DO notify the families and/or POAs of the situation if an outbreak should occur. It's against the law to keep such a thing 'hushed up' since a person can quickly die and THEN what??

My mother lives in a Memory Care ALF. Her doctor called me about 10 days ago to install a care plan in case she contracts the virus; what to do? Have her taken to the hospital or call in hospice and have her isolated in her apartment & given comfort care? I chose option #2; at 93 with lots of health issues and a daily plea to die, it'll be hospice and stay in the facility for my mother, should an outbreak happen and she contract the virus. We'll allow nature to take it's course in such a scenario, which I hope does not happen.

Doctors should be calling POAs to install care plans for those who live in residential care communities. Unless a decision is made to take a parent out of a facility BEFORE an outbreak occurs, it would be nearly impossible to do so once there IS an outbreak, unless you're okay having everyone in your home exposed to the virus, not to mention caring for a potentially infected elder with lots of OTHER issues!

It's really a terrible situation we all potentially face here with the residential care home loved ones. There's no 'good' answer, is there? Sending prayers for all of us, and asking for God's mercy at this difficult time.
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Getkicksonrte66 Apr 10, 2020
Thank You for your reply.
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My mom is in memory care in an ALF. They had an outbreak my mom tested positive. Thankfully she didn’t have many symptoms. Nothing more than a cough and a 99 degree temperature. She’s doing well but the guilt is unbelievable. FaceTiming her a couple times a week she doesn’t really know what’s going on and why I can’t visit. I haven’t seen her since lockdown march 11. I’m sure we are all in the same situation. They are all quarantined there and Im Sure she’s lonely. Thoughts have crossed my mom to get her out but I don’t want to get sick plus it’s too hard to care for her and not sure when she would be able to go back. What a horrible situation.
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lealonnie1 Apr 11, 2020
Sorry to hear this, but SO glad your mom was among the 80% of the population to have mild symptoms. Thank God.

Every day I read the updated list of facilities here in Colo that have outbreaks, praying I don't see my mother's Memory Care ALF on there. Of course, they will let me know if such a situation occurs, and they've been hyper-vigilant............but it's SUCH a contagious virus, that it's very hard to keep out of care homes.
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Assume someone is positive, assume at least 1 staff member is positive.
What would you do differently? If you knew no one was positive would you not wear a mask? would you not wash your hands? Assume that you have been infected by the person that opened the door minutes before you did, the one that took that jar of mayo off the shelf at the store then decided they did not want it and put it back.
Due to HIPAA laws they can not inform anyone about anyone's condition.

Interesting but where I live a judge just ruled that the Health Department is to notify 911 dispatch of positive people so that it can be flagged if a 911 call comes in so responders are aware. However the information is purged after the quarantine time has passed.

Years ago, way back in the 80s I asked my new Dentist when filling out a medical history form why along with the questions, are you diabetic, have you had Rheumatic fever and all the rest why not ask are you HIV positive. His response was..."I assume everyone is positive I take the same precautions with all my patients"..... Maybe take the same approach and assume more are positive for COVID19 than not. I am sure many people would test positive but have no symptoms, I bet there are people that may have thought they had the flu but may have in fact had mild cases of COVID19.
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cwillie Apr 14, 2020
Given the speed of spread and the horrifying results in more and more nursing homes I think your attitude is very pollyannaish, if there was even one person (staff or resident) in a facility with a loved one of mine I would be all over the administration and public health demanding reassurances that every extreme measure available was being taken. This is NOT comparable to the flu (although that contributes to far more deaths in facilities than are attributed to it), and the fact some elders make headlines for overcoming it is about as relevant as the fact that some 90 year olds make headlines for going skydiving.
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A resident at the nursing home my brother is in died of the virus. This man had a roommate. I do not know who it is or if the roommate was active and out and about in the community room. As soon as the man passed I got a call. They immediately had the national guard come and test everyone. My brother tested positive. He isn't having any symptoms. His health is very compromised and I am holding my breath he will get by this.
I am his POA and notified all his kids, who never call or visit. I felt maybe they will now and that would make my brother happy. So, my nephew started calling the nursing home demanding information on my brother's status. When he didn't get his way he put his mother on the phone to the nurse! We are talking about a man in his 30's... anyway, The nurse called me to tell me and ask for permission to give out his info. I said no. She thanked me and said she was hoping I would say that. They can not handle the calls coming in. The nurses have to shed their protective gear to answer the call and it takes up a lot of their valuable time. The nurse said it is best to have one person call and they can relay the information. I completely understand this. It is difficult to get through to anyone there. Now they hired a person to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to just connect people to their loved ones rooms.
My brother is in a private room and they said that is to his advantage. He is used to being restricted to his room because of his leg infections - so he is able to cooperate on that level.
This is a horrible, fearful time. My biggest pain is knowing if my brother's condition goes south he will be alone and I won't be able to be with him. He will get scared. So, I am praying for everyone to get through this.
Good luck to everyone, stay safe and well.
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Reply to montanacmm
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I'll be interested in this answer too, if someone knows.

In the meantime, what would you do if you found that your family member lived in a facility with a known coronavirus patient? I think we should all assume that if it isn't true right now, it will be true sometime this year. This virus spreads easily. What will you do when it happens?
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TekkieChikk Apr 14, 2020
Exactly.... the options are limited: try to find another facility that doesn't have any cases... and then get in line because everyone will want admittance.

Or move your LO in with you.

Our family is facing this situation, too. There are no good answers.
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My mother is in a Sunrise Assisted Living in NJ, in the NYC metropolitan area. They have been very transparent notifying us the day a resident tested positive. They send an update every few days as to the number of residents and staff who have tested positive. Her building was quarantined since March 13 because of the regular flu. Once Covid come into the building all residents have to stay in their rooms; meals are delivered to them, activities directors come and visit and set up FaceTime or Skype so they can communicate with family. Unfortunately, I do not believe all facilities are being as aboveboard.
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Reply to GertrudeH
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All I can say is that in Louisiana they are no longer listing the names of facilities with Covid cases. There are too many facilities infected to list them all individually on the news.

The number of infections and deaths in facilities are not being reported anymore on our news. I believe that the last report that I read in our newspaper stated that it is in over 90 of our facilities now.

We now have over 21,000 cases and over 1000 deaths reported in our state. I hope and pray that the end is near for us. We have many people being treated with this horrible coronavirus.

I am praying for all of us everywhere to see an end in sight soon. Blessings to all 💗.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I’m sure some facilities will the to keep it hush hush but someone will talk! Either the health dept will announce it, or employees will let the cat out of the bag. My county just had its first COVID case in a care facility and the facility itself made the announcement.
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dogparkmomma Apr 11, 2020
They cannot keep it quiet. They report to public health dept and also notify families. My mother is in a facility where they had an employee test positive. I am not going to move her or bring her to my house.
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Here in BC nursing homes with outbreaks are named. I believe the same is happening in Ontario.
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Reply to Tothill
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I do not know the answer to the exact question you ask. I only offer my experience. There is a staff member that tested positive in my mother's facility. The facility sent my mother's POAs a letter saying this, but with no details. Since we are in a small town, I was able to find out that it was a certain staff member, which my mother was exposed to on a daily basis. My mother is coughing, vomiting, hoarse, clearing her throat, spitting up food, while on the phone with me. She has clearly illustrated to the staff, during our phone call, that she is obviously ill. The only response by staff has been to take her temp twice a day. If I call expressing any polite concern I am told they are unable to communicate with me as I am not her POA. My mother long ago had her brother and sister agree to be her POA, although we were very close and I had interacted with her doctors for years on her behalf, I did not live in her small town and she did not want to force me to have to come back there. Totally misunderstanding what a POA was in the first place, now she has two, neither of which want to spend much of their time or effort into care. Now legally, her POA, of course, do not have to inform me of anything, and do so when and if they feel like it. So I am grateful they bothered to inform me by snail mail at all. They refuse to text, use email, or use the phone to contact anyone. Everything is done by mail. So my mother will probably be dead for days before anyone tells me. But I have accepted this is the consequences of her poor decisions she made many years ago, and there isn't much I can do. The latest proof of this: The virus is common in their town, and I was very concerned about the "what-ifs", like, what if my moms POAs were unable to be contacted (sick, or caring for their immediate family, etc.) and Mom needed to go to hospital or needed treatment? The answer is that Mom is made a ward of the state and there is nothing I can do about it, as her facility refuses to have an emergency contact if her POAs are unable to do their duties. So, please, no comments, I am not wanting advice and only wished to express what I know, which consists only of my experience. My input regarding your exact question is: Your status as a POA or not with your LO, local laws; County, Federal and facility policy will determine if you are supposed to be informed. And luck, timing and staff integrity will probably influence whether you actually ARE informed, or not.
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