COVID-19 Long Term Care Team
Posted on 04/01/2020

BFHD would like to highlight our Long Term Care (LTC) Team which is one of our Investigation and Response groups that works under our Operations Division as part of this COVID-19 response effort. Our LTC Team consists of six investigators whose primary focus is to stay in close communication with all of the LTC Facilities throughout our community, seven days a week. This is vital for an Emergency Response Investigation like COVID-19, particularly when trying to safe guard some of our most vulnerable, high-risk population groups.

The LTC Team sends out a daily survey to all LTC facilities in Benton and Franklin Counties to get a daily update on residents and staff members who have started feeling ill. When an LTC Facility reports its first ill residents, the LTC Team then makes contact with them to find out additional information, such as:

  • Are they having ill residents and staff tested for COVID-19?
  • Are they isolating ill residents and making sick staff stay home?
  • What are their current cleaning practices?
  • Are they following all of the Governor’s requirements? (ex: no visitors, communal activities, etc.)

At this time, the LTC then transitions from passive monitoring to active monitoring. During active monitoring, once a facility reports ill residents or staff members, the team will continue to monitor the facility to track whether numbers are going up or down and review results of any pending COVID-19 tests. The LTC Team also offers recommendations to the facility based on their findings, such as:

  • Conservation guidance to help Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies last longer.
  • Guidance on only allowing mandated medical personnel in and out of the facilities and requiring these personnel to sign a questionnaire about their health before entering the facility.
  • Recommendations for cleaning materials and practices that the facilities should use to ensure they effectively sanitize surfaces that may be contaminated with COVID-19 or any other flu-like virus.

Our LTC Team is working long hours to stay in regular contact with those caring for some of our most vulnerable community members.