In the past month or so, the reported cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes had diminished and plateaued. This was great news for anyone with family members in residence in any Florida nursing home facility.
However, the last couple of weeks have brought another uptick in COVID cases in Florida nursing homes. According to a report from Cait McVey of Bay News 9 online, “after a plateau at the end of March, the numbers of resident cases have started to rise again over the last two weeks. There is also a slight uptick in the staff case rate as well.”
What is the cause of this latest outbreak?
McVey’s article sites two reasons: a new variation in the virus and lack of vaccinations among nursing home staff.
Dr. Lindsay Peterson who works with the University of Central Florida School of Aging Studies, said that the new variants of the pandemic are more contagious and spread faster than former iterations. Further, the low staff vaccinations add to the risks.
Although these are both factors, it seems the lack of staff vaccinations is the primary cause. At any rate, if staff vaccinations were at 100 percent, there would be very little way for COVID to get into the facilities. Even if the new variant of coronavirus is more contagious than previous, perfect immunization would prevent the disease from having a chance.
Further, we know that ManorCare, Brookdale and other Florida nursing home facilities have spotty track records of properly handling the pandemic.
What should you do?
If you are a loved one is a resident in a Florida nursing home or assisted living facility – or if you are looking into a nursing home – it is paramount that you understand the safety protocols and the track record of handling COVID safety protocols.