APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Nursing homes across the country are feeling the effects of the coronavirus as they do what they can to protect their residents.
Here in Wisconsin, 20 facilities have had a single confirmed case and 25 facilities have had five or less confirmed cases.
During a Monday afternoon media briefing, Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, said, “It tells us that the virus spreads when people don’t do physical distancing.”
Tim Neuman, Interim Administrator at Brewster Village says, “We’re practicing social distancing to the extent possible. We’ve limited visitation since March 13. We’ve closed Brewster Village to all visitors and non-essential individuals and recognize the challenge that this presents to the villagers, who miss those visits.”
While some care facilities are being hit hard by COVID-19, Brewster Village is managing to escape this pandemic.
“Brewster Village is very fortunate and do not have any cases for villagers or team members,” Neuman says.
Brewster Village is a facility run by Outagamie County and maintains a strict regime to prevent infection.
Neuman adds, “We’re monitoring villagers at least three times a day for respiratory symptoms as well as temperature checks. Additionally, for our team members, we are screening all team members. Every day. We’re ensuring that they do not meet the criteria, including temperature checks, as well as a survey which essentially gauges their exposure risk.”
To prevent further exposure, Wisconsin plans to test about 10,000 staff and residents a week through May at long-term care facilities.
Secretary-designee Andrea Palm with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services says, “We’ve got teams of folks who are prepared to do outreach to make sure this asset that we’re prepared to deploy is meeting needs of local facilities.”
If one case is discovered in a long-term care facility, the state will initiate a public health investigation.
As of late April, there have been 93 public health investigations.