ST. LOUIS – People who are living in nursing homes have been at the highest risk during the pandemic.
There is work now underway to give them more access to testing.
An urgent care system is now screening residents and workers or nursing homes to bring a sense of peace and protection.
“It broke my heart because I couldn’t do anything,” said Anna Rodgers.
She said family watched her 97-year-old grandmother, Rose Lumia, through a window at a local nursing home until her health deteriorated.
It’s a somber reality for those with loved ones in nursing homes.
“It’s horrible because you can’t see them,” said Rodgers.
Officials with the St. Louis Metro Pandemic Task Force report hospitals have seen around 40% of admissions come from nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“At that time, when we started asking questions, we found out that several staff had tested positive and several residents had tested positive,” said Rodgers.
Now Mercy-Go Health Urgent Care is working on a way to safely test both residents and employees in the homes with on-sight and virtual screenings.
“You’re worried about their physical health. You worried about their mental health. You’re worried just about anxiety that they must have that their friends are getting sick in the nursing facility,” said Dan Jecklin, Provider Coordinator at Mercy-GoHealth.
Providers will enter the facility in PPE and speak to the resident via Ipad giving them the chance to ask questions and share concerns.
The staff member will immediately swab and that’s the rest of the meeting.
Test results come back 24 to 48 hours later.
This program has been rolled out in other markets and they are getting close to finalizing things in the St. Louis region.
For more information on how to get the testing set up at your facility, click here.