September 10, 2020

Hospitals, nursing homes ignore guidelines to separate COVID-19 from other patients

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Dozens of nursing homes and hospitals ignored official guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to separate COVID-19 patients from those without the virus, the September 10 Kaiser Health News reports.

A Kaiser Health News investigation found that nursing homes and hospitals ignored (CDC) guidelines to separate COVID-19 patients in facilities in California, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio, Maryland, and New York.

Sponsored Message

The New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus in late April had COVID-19 and non-COVId-19 residents with dementia mingling in a day room. At the time, the Home had already reported COVID-19 infections in 119 residents and 46-virus related deaths.

Also in late April, an Iowa nursing home overrode the orders of a community physician to isolate several patients with fevers and falling oxygen levels. By mid-May, 61 patients had COVID-19 and nine died.

At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, California, where two nurses became ill and one died from the virus on July 17, COVID-19 patients were scattered throughout the hospital.

A July National Nurses United survey of more than 21,000 nurses found that 32% worked in facilities that did not have a dedicated COVID-19 unit.

Several reasons have been given for mixing COVID-19 with non-COVID-19 patients, including having limited tests, so patients carrying the virus are identified only after exposing others; false-negative test results; and being dismissive of federal guidelines.


Sign Up For OR a.m.
Sign up for the free OR a.m. eLetter to get news like this in your inbox every morning!

OR Manager Jobs
Live chat by BoldChat