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Indiana Taking New Steps to Combat COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities

During Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's Wednesday COVID-19 update, five targeted steps were announced to combat the spread of the virus within the state's long-term care facilities.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 3:07 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2020 3:57 PM

On Wednesday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced the introduction of five new steps to combat the spread of COVID-19 within the state's long-term care facilities.

"We are introducing today additional efforts in the coming days in our long-term care facilities, all across the state - statewide," said Gov. Holcomb. "Over the next couple weeks, we'll take additional steps to directly support and further partner with these facilities, starting with utilizing members of the Indiana National Guard who will work side-by-side staff members, and help them with screening employees, data entry, testing, infection control practices, and so much more."

Joining Gov. Holcomb on Wednesday was Dr. Lindsey Weaver, Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana State Department of Health.

According to Weaver, there have been 2,205 total COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities throughout Indiana - or 58% of Indiana's total COVID-19 deaths.

Dr. Weaver further elaborated on the five new efforts being implemented in Indiana's long-term care facilities.

Step One: Send Indiana National Guard to all long-term care facilities.

  • National Guard will assist with testing, reporting test results, screening employees, and simple infection control practices
  • The goal is the begin this step on Nov. 1 in facilities that are experiencing positive cases

Step Two: Tap into healthcare reserve workforce.

The State is asking Indiana's retired/unemployed healthcare workforce to consider volunteering to help those on the front line. 

"Early on in the pandemic, we asked Indiana's healthcare workforce that was retired or not employed, or those that were temporarily on hold due to the pandemic, to consider volunteering to help those on the front line. Hoosiers responded en masse," said Dr. Weaver. 

Those who'd like to volunteer can do so by clicking here.

Step Three: Provide more PPE to Indiana long-term care facilities

  • Indiana is providing 2 million N95 masks for all long-term care facilities so all patient-facing staff will wear an N95 when interacting with a patient.
  • The state will also be providing 400,000 face shields and 680,000 gowns.

Step Four: Reinforcement of infection control education for employees in long-term care facilities.

Step Five: Reduce ongoing admissions to facilities to allow an immediate discharge from a hospital to a patient's home for in-home rehabilitation.

You can watch Gov. Holcomb's full Wednesday COVID-19 update below.

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