Nursing homes, long in the spotlight as a key battleground in the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19, are making key structural changes to prepare for an expected third surge of the disease.
Facilities have implemented increased testing, promoted mask use and changed clinical practices in an effort to protect older Americans who are at higher risk of complications from the coronavirus.
While many changes are temporary to mitigate the virus until a vaccine is available, others are more permanent.
“I think that what won’t end will be a renewed and strengthened emphasis on infection control,” said Mark Parkinson, CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).
The AHCA/NCAL, which represents more than 14,000 skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities and other homes, is preparing for “the next pandemic,” Parkinson said, as many weren’t prepared for the current one.