COVID-19 Infection Prevention and the Medical Director
Karl Steinberg, MD, CMD
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a nightmare for everyone associated with nursing facilities, with the most severe devastation landing on their residents. Outbreaks have wiped out a large swath of these precious, vulnerable elders, and this virus is even more cruel in that most of them have not been able to have loved ones at their side on their deathbed.
It is estimated that over 40 percent of the COVID deaths in the United States have occurred in the long term care setting, which constitutes only about 0.6 percent of the U.S. population. In other words, a nursing center resident is about 70 times more likely to die of the coronavirus than a person who lives in the community at large. Unavailability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing have been problematic.