They Work In Several Nursing Homes To Eke Out A Living, And That May Spread The Virus

Most nursing homes are connected by shared staff to seven others. Instead of limiting workers to one facility to curb COVID-19 spread, advocates urge better pay and more PPE for nursing home staff.

10/27/2020 11:47:00 AM

When the coronavirus began racing through nursing homes the federal government banned visitors. A team of researchers from UCLA and Yale University decided to examine the people who continued to enter nursing homes in that time — the employees.

Most nursing homes are connected by shared staff to seven others. Instead of limiting workers to one facility to curb COVID-19 spread, advocates urge better pay and more PPE for nursing home staff.

when the visitor ban was in place helped the scientists"see" the movements of people going into and out of nursing homes. The data showed a lot of nursing home workers are — like Tapia — working at more than one facility. Chen says the findings suggest that one source of the spread of infections is staff who work in multiple nursing homes.

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"When you learn that over 20 of your workers are also spending time in other nursing homes, that should be a real red flag," Chen says.The toll on patients and beyondMore than 84,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 across the U.S., representing 40% of all coronavirus fatalities in the country, according to the

Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent analysis. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)In California, the analogous toll is more than 5,700 deaths, making up 35% of all coronavirus fatalities in the state.The UCLA team created maps of movement and found that on average each nursing home is connected to seven others through staff movement. Limiting nursing home employees to one facility could mean fewer COVID-19 infections — but that would hurt the workforce of people who say they work multiple jobs because of low wages.

After each of her shifts, Tapia worries she'll bring the coronavirus home to her granddaughter. She tries to take precautions, including buying N95 masks from nurses. She knows it's not just patients who are at risk. Nursing home workers such as Tapia are also contracting COVID-19 — in California alone,

153 of them have died since the pandemic began.At the nursing home she works at in the morning, Tapia gets an N95 mask that she must only use — and reuse — in that facility. At her other nursing home job, in the afternoons, she gets only a blue surgical mask to wear.

"They say they cannot give us N95 [masks]," she says, because she works in the"general area" where residents haven't tested positive for the coronavirus.For-Profit Nursing Homes' Pleas For Government Money Brings ScrutinyShe doesn't want to work at multiple nursing homes, but her rent is $2,200 a month, and her low pay and limited hours at each nursing home make multiple jobs a necessity.

"I don't want to get sick. But we need to work. We need to eat, we need to pay rent. That's just how it is," Tapia says.Staff connections equal infectionsThe UCLA study also found that some areas of the country have a much higher overlap in nursing home staffing than others.

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"There are some facilities in Florida, in New Jersey, where they're sharing upwards of 50 to 100 workers," says UCLA associate professorElisa Long, who, along with her colleagues, examined data during the federal visitor ban from March to May."This is over an 11-week time period, but that's a huge number of individuals that are moving between these facilities; all of these are potential sources of COVID transmission."

They also found the more shared workers a nursing home has, the more COVID-19 infections among the residents."Not only does it matter how connected your nursing home is, but what really matters is how connected your connections are," Long says.

The researchers say they've informally dubbed these highly connected nursing homes as each state's"Kevin Bacon of nursing homes," after theSix Degrees of Kevin Baconparlor game."We found that if you're going to see a nursing home outbreak anywhere it's likely to spread to the Kevin Bacon of nursing homes in each state," Chen says.

The team hopes that local health departments could use similar cellphone data methods as an early warning system. Using the test results from the"Kevin Bacon of nursing homes" as an indicator would be the first step."As soon as you detect an outbreak in one nursing home, you can immediately prioritize those other nursing homes that you know are at increased risk," Chen says.

Prioritize masks and hand-washingThe California Association of Health Facilities represents most nursing homes in California. In response to the study, the group says its members can't prevent workers such as Tapia from taking jobs elsewhere, and they can't pay them more, because California doesn't pay

Read more: NPR »

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There are lot of China virus deniers in the MSM. Many virologists also side with CCP & 石正丽. These people may be initially fooled by the fake evidence that Covid19 virus came from nature but not anymore. The lack of compassions in the science community is SHOCKING and IMMORAL. Thank you Trump. Democrat governors and mayors were killing our elderly.

Having survived contracting Covid-19 at a Nursing Home I witnessed 1st hand Staff starting a new shift by telling me the number of cases and deaths at their 2nd Job THIS PROBLEM IS DUE TO HOMES ONLY WANTING TO HIRE STAFF PART TIME SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO PAY BENEFITS-Each 2-3 Jobs cc:tickerguy NY & NJ governors ordered nursing homes to admit covid patients. so have highest covid deaths per capita. can’t trust dems or repubs. vote 3d party we must do better than idiot crooks!

Great study. We hope Kevin Bacon won't get upset? OP Warp Speed, COVID funding, US borders closed Results: Better Treatments Faster & more testing-best in world ID of vulnerable groups Findings: Lockdowns suppressed the curve but increased suicides & other health issues US economy stronger vs Europe COVID deaths down 85%

This whole pandemic could’ve been handled so much better & we wouldn’t be in the hell we are in now, with so many Americans having lost their loved ones. If only we had in office a REAL president, instead of the Hitler wanna be along w the circus from hell we call the SenateGOP With a parent working at a nursing home, they are not all better than the rest of the public in terms of virus prevention. One went on a weeks vacation and returned back to work without quarentene. They tested positive. It spread through the home, 1/4 of all the patients died.

this is terrible news

They Work In Several Nursing Homes To Eke Out A Living, And That Spreads The VirusMost nursing homes are connected by shared staff to seven others. Instead of limiting workers to one facility to curb COVID-19 spread, advocates urge better pay and more PPE for nursing home staff.

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