LDH deploying COVID strike teams to nursing homes, other long-term lodging facilities
BATON ROUGE - Local health officials say there has been a shift in the way the coronavirus is spreading throughout the community.
Although community transmission of COVID-19 is no longer spiking, residents in confined quarters and those gathering in large groups are most at-risk in our community.
"Early on we saw more community spread and now were are seeing an even mix community spread and congregant living spread," Dr. Catherine O'Neal said, a COVID-19 specialist at Our Lady of the Lake.
Dr. O'Neal says places like prisons, nursing homes, and other facilities that lodge a large number of people are most at risk in East Baton Rouge Parish.
"For a group of people who can't leave their building, and often times are living with another person, it's just those infection control measures are very difficult to keep in place," Dr. O'Neal said.
The Louisiana Department of Health is now deploying special COVID-19 strike teams to nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the state to help stop the virus from spreading.
Team members will show operators how to keep their patients separate and provide facilities with procedures to follow when residents or workers become ill.
"Unfortunately, during a pandemic, you can't keep it out of a nursing home in the long run. Luckily in the Baton Rouge area, we have a lot of medical support in our nursing homes. They have done a really good job of separating people and going through infectious control measures," Dr. O'Neal said.
With the coronavirus still posing a threat, officials say we can expect more of an active cold and flu season this year.