Letter to the Editor – A Medical Director’s Concern About Keeping Nursing Homes Safe

We are sharing with you a published Letter to the Editor from The Tallahassee Democrat written by the Medical Director at our community in Tallahassee, and former president of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care, advocating for all of Florida’s senior living communities at a time of global pandemic.

Florida Must Take Aggressive Action On Nursing Homes

Despite actions taken to date, including limiting visitation, masking and enhanced infection control procedures, we need a more concerted focus on those institutions that care for the most frail of our elderly population. We must join forces to ensure:

  1. Mandatory testing and contact tracing of all residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  2. Provision of adequate PPE and training to ensure its proper use.
  3. Contingency plans to move infected residents in separate facilities.
  4. Greater restrictions on transfers from hospital to the nursing home, including mandatory COVID testing.
  5. Greater support of all staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, including hazard and sick leave pay.

Florida, home of the oldest population in the country, must be at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a laser focus on the safety of its most vulnerable citizenry.

Written by Dr. Paul Katz, Medical Director at Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee

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