First positive tests among residents at Beadles Nursing Home
November 13, 2020
Beadles Nursing Home in Alva now has three residents who have tested positive for Covid-19, according to Administrator Adam Jordan, DPh. Although a few staff members have had positive tests, this is the first time the coronavirus has been detected in residents there. Currently, Beadles has four employees in isolation who tested positive and another employee in quarantine due to contact. Jordan said the change correlates with the rise in positive cases in the community.
Figures released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) on Thursday indicate 77 active cases of Covid-19 in Alva. On Monday, the number was 62, Tuesday it was 52 and Wednesday it was 68. Woods County totals increased from 70 on Monday to 86 on Thursday. The first Alva death related to the coronavirus, a woman over age 65, was added to the OSDH list on Monday.
Adam Jordan and his wife Dayna Jordan, RN, BSN, who is director of nursing at Beadles, are asking for the support of the community to protect nursing home residents. Beadles locked down their facility on March 13 before Gov. Kevin Stitt issued the lockdown orders.
“It’s been really hard,” said Adam. Usually life at Beadles is pleasant with lots of social activities and visits. Now residents are confined to their rooms. “It’s been prison,” said Dayna. When the weather is nice, they can take some of the residents outdoors to give them a break, but overall life has been difficult since March.
Adam said one “blessing” is they have sufficient amounts of protective equipment. That would not have been the case two months ago. It was only in the last couple of days they received a supply of 600 N95 masks.
Nursing Home Residents Vulnerable
Nursing home residents are usually in the facility due to some medical condition. This leaves them especially vulnerable to Covid-19. Recent data released by Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that with the recent spike in new Covid cases in the general U.S. population, weekly nursing home cases are also on the rise.
As experts have repeatedly noted, Covid-19 cases in a surrounding community is the top factor in outbreaks in nursing homes. Dr. David Grabowski, professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, recently stated, “The strongest predictor of whether or not we’ll see cases in (a particular setting) is community spread.”
During the week of Oct. 18, 41 percent of new Covid cases in nursing homes were from Midwest states with major spikes in community spread. As a result, the Midwest region saw a 120 percent increase in weekly Covid cases in nursing homes since mid-September.
Residents of long term care facilities account for only eight percent of the nation’s cases, yet 40 percent of its deaths. While mortality rates have decreased compared to the spring due to a better understanding of the virus, better treatments, and government resources to help reduce the spread, nursing home industry leaders remain deeply concerned that the rising number of new Covid cases in facilities will ultimately lead to an increasing number of deaths.
Staffing is a Struggle
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dayna says they’ve asked their staff members to change their lives to avoid infection with the virus. While employees can take extra precautions such as limiting travel, there are some situations outside their control.
Beadles employs Northwestern Oklahoma State University students and local high school students in addition to adults from the community. Even if students don’t test positive themselves, they have a chance of being placed on quarantine due to close contact with a classmate who does.
The nursing home also has married couples and people with families who are affected when younger children must stay home from school due to quarantine.
Early Thursday afternoon, Dayna was still trying to find enough employees to cover that day’s late afternoon and night shifts. She said scheduling is “one shift at a time.”
In October’s hospital authority meeting, Share Convalescent Home Administrator Kelly Parker said he’s keeping some hours with a staffing agency just to assure he has enough coverage during the pandemic. He’s been cutting back on the more expensive agency staffing, but he can’t cut it out completely.
Please Wear a Mask
The Jordans are asking the community to help them keep their residents and staff safe by taking measures to stop community spread of Covid. They see the recent increase in cases in Alva as a result of the school fall break and the social activities related to Halloween. With the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, they are concerned about further increases.
“Can you please wear a mask and social distance, at least through Christmas?” asked Dayna.