Nursing homes warned of possible COVID-19 spike

Nursing homes warned of possible COVID-19 spike

MIDWAY, Ga. (WTOC) - A recent report from The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living is warning of another spike in COVID-19 cases in nursing homes.

The report cites community spread and an increase in cases in the general population.

Magnolia Manor has nine campuses around southern Georgia, including in Midway. The CEO admits it was a rough few months for each facility, with several COVID-19 cases and deaths due to the virus. However, reports now show that this is the seventh consecutive week with no cases among residents or staff at the Midway campus.

“Overall, we’re in really good shape,” CEO Mark Todd said.

It’s something to be proud of, but the CEO knows the senior living facility isn’t out of the woods just yet.

“The community infection rates, what goes on in the community, is going to have a big effect on what goes on in our building,” Todd said.

According to Todd, if the virus comes into the facility, it’s going to be through an employee, as they are the only ones coming in and out.

How does the facility plan to keep employees safe, in order to keep its residents safe?

“We check temperatures when they come in. We’re using all the PPE equipment. We’re doing an especially vibrant infection control procedures within our building,” Todd said.

Todd believes nursing homes will be last at fully reopening to the public.

At the Midway facility, interviews are even conducted outside - out of an abundance of caution.

Also, outside family visitations started a month ago, and the facility implemented safety precautions like separation screens and taped off areas to enforce social distancing, all while getting back to some type of normalcy.

Todd said the only challenges the facility is facing are finding suppliers with enough of the rapid tests, as well as the staffing shortage, but he is confident the facility could handle another COVID wave - if it comes.

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