Hi! My mom's nursing home in the Los Angeles area recently had a huge Covid outbreak. They have less than 100 residents, but have 50 positives (staff and residents). They test twice a week, and every time they test there has been another 8-10 positives in the last two weeks. They had done really well with safety since March with only a few cases sporadically, but now it seems it's running out of control. They don't seem to know how to handle it.

I'm terrified and frustrated, as all of my online research seems to suggest the powers that we don't care about our aging loved ones and are doing nothing to protect the nursing home community.

I've also caught the administration of the nursing home in several lies, and other family members have experienced similar. One lady was not told that her husband was Covid positive until he was sent to the hospital 3 days after testing positive. We have no idea how they are truly handling the matter as they are being very bureaucratic about answering questions.

We're all very worried about the safety of our loved ones and the staff as they also do not feel protected but afraid to speak out. The nursing home is not all bad; I know they try, but they are really coming up short with this Covid outbreak. They had not been wearing proper PPE prior to the outbreak.

Does anyone have any suggestions of steps that can be taken...any places that can be reached out to that could help with this matter? Any ideas at all would be so greatly appreciated! At this point, myself and other family members are willing to try anything to help get them more support, or testing or anything that might help slow the spread. Please share if you have any ideas, thank you so very very much! Best wishes to everyone and your loved ones!

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They cannot get extra help until those helpers have been quarantined for 2 weeks. This is the chronic problem. This is what happened at my MIL's LTC facility and why they were short-staffed. FYI my MIL is 85 and got covid. Had a DNR so received only Tylenol for her fever and was put on 5 Liters oxygen per day. She felt so bad she stopped eating and drinking. After 4 weeks of this, she abruptly recovered 100% on week 4 after we put her on hospice. I can totally understand your dismay and anxiety, but please remember that most people recover from covid, and many elderly do, too. Right now your mom's facility is running around with their hair on fire because they are so short staffed. Unless you can find qualified staff who have been quarantined for 2 weeks, I'm not sure what else you can do to provide support, except let the staff know how much you appreciate their very difficult jobs. FYI many weeks prior to the outbreak at my MIL's facility they were in tight lockdown and everyone was completely covered in PPE, quarantined all packages, no visitors allowed, etc. It defies logic how covid got passed in there. I wish you peace in your heart has you endure the coming days and weeks.
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Wherever people are congregated together in any numbers, Covid 19 will be almost impossible to contain; it spreads like wildfire and the introduction of a single worker or family member into the institution on a single day does amount to a "super spreader event" in detention centers, prisons, LTC facilities, schools. We now know that covid is not only spread by droplet but that it is airborne, that is to say it is hanging in the air. We also know that the elderly are very susceptible and are much more like to be in danger of death when they have Covid.
There is only one certain way to take an elder out of harm's way, and that is to remove them from others BEFORE Covid gets loose in an institution.
As many of us have noted, the isolation from family and friends itself has very devastating effects over time. Elders in Nursing Homes, ALF, LTC are not going to be able to procure nor to wear full time the gear required to even begin to protect them.
We are in the middle of a pandemic, and apparently now it is expected that we will see the expected fall resurgence with a vengeance.
I already had the ex partner of my brother get this months ago when he had to have a surgery and rehab and the rehab was full of covid in both patients and family. He got it, returned to hospital, and survived it.
I am so sorry to hear this worry for you and the one you love. The only way to address this that I can see with any certainty is to take the elder out of LTC and into your home, and then basically have your own home go on shutdown. This is not possible for so many.
This is a problem EVERYWHERE where people congregate together. My daughter is now beginning teaching again. It took one week to see three positives, and they will likely shut down. They understand they are VERY HIGH RISK. Other than good PPE, trying to get people to use it, hand washing, cleaning, staying well as we are able, avoiding crowded areas, masking, and etc I can't imagine what we can do.
I am so sorry for all facing down this fall. I think we saw what happened before; I think we fear it, or worse will happen again.
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This is terrible news, and I'm sorry for all you're going through.

Are these residents sick, or have they just 'tested positive' for Covid19? Is there a true outbreak where all of these residents are sick with symptoms and going to the hospital? There are as many as 1 in 2 'false positive' tests for the virus these days, which is why I'm asking.

Are the positive residents being isolated in their rooms at the nursing home? Is the staff wearing PPE (now) when they are attending to the Covid positive residents; then disposing of the PPE after leaving the room EACH TIME? Are the positive residents wearing masks also?

These are the steps that should be in place in the nursing home: all staff wears PPE when interacting with a positive resident and the resident wears a mask as well; all positive residents are isolated in their rooms for 2 weeks even if they are not symptomatic; anyone showing symptoms should be sent to the hospital right away b/c the faster the virus is treated, the better the chance of survival, even in the elderly.

Short of taking your mother out of the NH, I'm not sure what you can really 'do' here. My mother lives in a Memory Care ALF here in Colo. There have been 3 positive tests so far with employees who were ordered to stay home for 2 weeks (they were asymptomatic). All residents and staff have been tested; no residents tested positive; 2 more employees tested positive and were told to quarantine at home. They are now testing all residents & employees regularly; residents if they've left the building for a doctor's appointment or trip to the hospital. The residents have to wear masks at all times while out of their rooms, and so do the staff. If a resident is showing cold symptoms, s/he is quarantined to his or her room and tested. Small group dining has been in effect as well. That's the best they can do.

I hope & pray things work out for your mom and the rest of the residents in the NH. Sending prayers and hugs your way.
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The ch!t didn't hit the fan here this spring until the media got involved.
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Oh Hanna, this must be so tough.
I'm not in the States, so I think that other people here will be able to give you better tips and advice than me, but the first thing that came to my mind was... can you take your mom home, or to an hotel room with some support if you don't have space for isolating her completely for quarantine...? I don't know, it might be a very naive suggestion, or perhaps even against the law, or impossible, but I guess this is what I'd try to do.
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