North Alabama nursing homes take coronavirus precautions

Administrators at several nursing homes say if there is a positive case of coronavirus at their facility, they will separate and isolate those people.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 4:55 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2020 9:58 PM

We know nursing homes across the country have been hit hard by coronavirus. WAAY 31 talked to several North Alabama facilities about their plans to keep residents and employees safe.

Administrators at several nursing homes say if there is a positive case of coronavirus at their facility, they will separate and isolate those people. They've already designated "sick and healthy" areas of the buildings.

"This is a difficult time for everyone so we're really encouraging family members to continue to do some window therapy," said Christina Guffey at South Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

"Our top priority is always to keep the residents and our staff safe so we have taken every precaution and measure possible," said Barbara Stripling with American Health Communities Millennium Nursing Home.

Right now nursing homes across North Alabama are changing their policies and procedures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

"We have one entrance and one exit to the facility at this time. We are not allowing any visitors or vendors to come in," said Guffey.

Employees are taking precautions. They have to wear masks, get their temperatures taken, and be screened before entering South Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

"We ask if they've had any cough fever, sore throat, shortness of breath if they've been exposed to anyone who has had any of these symptoms," said Guffey.

At American Health Communities Millennium Nursing Home, employees are making sure they have enough protective equipment every day.

They're also checking in on their residents more often.

"We are doing vital signs on our residents two times a day to monitor and screen," said Stripling.

Before a resident moves in at South Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, administrators make sure they are healthy.

"They have to have had a COVID-19 negative test, they are immediately put on isolation and 48 hours later we retest them," said Guffey.

If a resident tests positive, the facility limits the number of employees who come in contact with them. Any employees who may have been exposed are tested, and the nursing home facility's plan to keep the virus from spreading is put in place.

"They would be in a separate area," said Stripling.

"If they test positive, we treat the symptoms like we would with anything else until we do get a negative," said Guffey.

Employees at nursing homes say they encourage family members to visit their loved ones through the window and video call them as often as they can.

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