77 Percent of All Virginia Nursing Homes Failed Infection Control Tests Before the Coronavirus Struck
RICHMOND, Va. — Nursing homes in Virginia historically have a terrible track record of controlling the spread of infections in their facilities. According to The Virginian Pilot, 77 percent of the commonwealth’s nursing homes failed to satisfy infection control and prevention regulations. Even after receiving a failing grade, many nursing homes failed to clean up their act. They failed the required infection control and prevention testing again. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck. Some failing grades were issued by governmental regulators, such as not washing hands or wearing masks while treating contagious patients. Today we know that these steps were required to save lives and to prevent the spread of infectious disease. *
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention preach the gospel of good hygiene and maintaining clean nursing facilities as a method of stopping the spread of an infectious disease in a nursing home, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC often reiterates that covering mouths and washing hands are two simple methods to stop infectious diseases from spreading throughout nursing homes, and attributes hundreds of nursing home deaths annually to poor hygiene.
With that track record of negligence, nursing homes are losing the battle with the novel coronavirus. From Washington state all of the way to Virginia, people in nursing homes are dying from COVID-19 infections at an accelerated rate. According to reports, forty-three people in a Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, died from COVID-19 and 45 residents of the Canterbury Rehab and Healthcare facility died in Henrico County, Virginia.
The commonwealth says that it is prioritizing infection control complaints at nursing homes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Representatives of Virginia’s Health Care Association argued that their facilities are ready to handle the challenge posed by the novel coronavirus, even if homes received failing grades in the past.
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