Montgomery County Health Department Stepped in When State Struggled to Assist Nursing Homes

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Montgomery County Health Department had to step in and provide a proper response as the state struggled to meet the needs of affected nursing homes.

When coronavirus cases started to spread through Montgomery County’s nursing homes, the local Health Department had to step in and provide a proper response as the state struggled to meet their growing needs, writes Allison Steele for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Despite being licensed and inspected by the state, nursing homes took a backseat to hospitals after COVID-19 took hold when it came to the distribution of personal protective equipment.

Additionally, the state had originally planned to send quick-strike teams to affected nursing homes across Pennsylvania. However instead, counties had to rely heavily on phone consultations performed by ECRI, the recently hired health-care research institute.

At the start according to Montgomery County Commissioners Chair Val Arkoosh, nursing homes were not on her radar because the assumption was that their needs would be met by the Department of Health.

“Once they said, ‘We’re not in a position to provide in-person visits,’ we said, ‘OK, we’re going to have to figure this out ourselves,’” said Arkoosh.

The county has since formed and sent out six two-person strike teams to dozens of facilities to assist with disease control protocols and PPE distribution.

Read more about the issue at the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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Top photo credit: Banc Imatges Infermeres Infermer via photopin (license)

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