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Combating Coronavirus: Steps Every Healthcare Facility Needs to Take

April 28, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is revealing critical flaws in a number of different sectors throughout the country. From government to business to healthcare, this pandemic ruthlessly deals punishing blows to any system that is not fully prepared for it.

In early March, a cluster of coronavirus infections was reported at a nursing home near Seattle. Of course, a deadly virus permeating a facility filled with highly vulnerable individuals is a very sensitive situation. There are currently an estimated 2.2 million seniors residing in such places, and the challenge of protecting them cannot be overstated.

It is incumbent upon healthcare officials to learn from such situations, so that more lives may be spared in the future. Here are some of the basic steps that need to be taken in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.


Protecting The Residents

Those patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions need to be segregated from the population at large. It is an obvious but important first step since the coronavirus is known to be much more deadly to people dealing with such health issues.

This precaution extends to patients visiting doctors’ offices too. Those with respiratory issues who are awaiting appointments must be separated from others so they are not waiting in the same area.

Healthcare providers have also been minimizing risk by resorting to telehealth solutions. Virtual visits increased by 50 percent in March, and are expected to reach 1 billion by the end of 2020. It has become a means by which hospitals can effectively triage patients and understand the best way to use their resources.

Skilled nursing facilities in particular have been advised to implement non-visitation policies to better protect the residents and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Staying connected to family and friends is an essential part of recovery and well-being so we’ve provided our residents with their own tablets to facilitate communication with loved ones. 


Protecting The Workers

It is perhaps no surprise that preexisting staffing shortages have been further exacerbated by the current crisis. By late March states were scrambling to find workers wherever they could. Temporary nurses were in such demand that they were drawing top dollar.

Ensuring the health of those on the front lines is obviously paramount. Wearing personal protective equipment is one of the most important steps to protect workers from infection. They must also be properly trained in the use of such equipment.

This common-sense approach was shown to be particularly effective in the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong, which managed to navigate the crisis without a single worker contracting COVID-19. That same facility was also vigilant about its workers practicing proper hand hygiene.

We’ve taken a similar approach at our facilities, strictly abiding by all CDC and NYC Department of Health (DOH) health and safety guidelines. For more information on that, visit our COVID-19 updates page.



A time of crisis is no time to be left in the dark. Administrators of healthcare institutions need to be transparent with clear channels of communication that run throughout all levels of the organization, and beyond.

That was illustrated at Northwell Health, a chain of facilities in New York State, which established various channels to keep the public abreast of information. Sutter Health, in Northern California, was among the facilities to take similar steps. The Cleveland Clinic, meanwhile, turned to telehealth solutions at its drive-through screening locations.

At Allure we’ve sent out email communications to our staff and residents’ families, kept close tabs on social media inquiries and maintained a COVID-19 updates page on all our facilities’ websites. We’ve even established a separate family telephone line to help keep residents in touch with their loved ones. 

Whatever the method, the point is clear. During a pandemic, knowledge is power. Little steps can go a long way toward making patients, workers, and families feel cared for.


Systematic Sanitizing 

It goes without saying that sanitizing is crucial during this time. The CDC is advising everyone to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, the CDC advises using hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. These steps are particularly applicable after being in a public place, which is particularly relevant for patients and healthcare workers.

Other oft-repeated CDC recommendations include social distancing, avoid touching one’s face with unwashed hands, and wearing a face mask. All of this is understandably difficult and inconvenient for civilians and healthcare facilities alike, but so very necessary. Following these best practices can help keep yourself and others safe, and significantly flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak. Those are outcomes worth fighting for.

Categories: General