Follow HCA’s home care prepare website for updates and resources
In an alert last week on novel coronavirus (COVID-19), HCA cited Governor Cuomo’s observation that “no one should be surprised” when New York has positive cases – and that has now borne true, with the Administration announcing over the weekend a first confirmed case in Manhattan. The individual, in her 30s, had travelled to Iran, one of the first countries to report cases outside of its origins in China. (The numbers are fluid, yet over 60 countries have reported cases, including more than 3,000 deaths globally as of press time for The Situation Report.) “The patient has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving to New York,” the Governor said in a statement.
The New York case coincided with news over the weekend of the first two U.S. fatalities, in the Seattle area, with reports of cases clustering at a nursing facility in Washington state, reinforcing the importance of protocols to protect the long term care population.
The Governor also announced over the weekend that the federal government granted New York State the authority to test for COVID-19 at Albany’s Wadsworth laboratory – as was done in confirming New York’s first case – joining dozens of labs in other states that have similarly applied to conduct tests more expeditiously instead of having to wait for turnaround from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Governor has also sought a $40 million appropriation from the state Legislature to hire additional staff at the state Department of Health (DOH) and to procure resources related to COVID-19 response, along with legislation “to ensure local health departments and public and private hospitals statewide take certain actions and measures in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak as needed.”
HCA again urges providers to ensure that their required emergency preparedness plans are up-to-date, including your communications planning, your infection-control procedures, and other factors vital to all-hazards planning. It is also essential that home care and hospice providers keep their Health Commerce System (HCS) communications directory and other HCS accounts up-to-date and closely watched for vital communications from state health and emergency preparedness officials, including home care- and hospice-specific advisories.
For additional resource links to the CDC, state Department of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and more, please visit HCA’s emergency preparedness website at http://homecareprepare.org/covid-19/. HCA will keep the membership apprised of any important new developments.