Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp provided an overview of the recommendations President Trump and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, or long-term care facilities, have become an accelerator for COVID-19. This is because residents, who are generally comprised of a vulnerable population, are even more vulnerable to the complications of the virus in enclosed environments like nursing homes.
The recommendations are as follows:
- Nursing homes should immediately ensure that they are complying with all CMS and CDC guidance related to infection control.
- As nursing homes are a critical part of the healthcare system, and because of the ease of spread in long-term care facilities and the severity of illness that occurs in residents with COVID-19, CMS/CDC urge state and local leaders to consider the needs of long-term care facilities with respect to supplies of PPE and COVID-19 tests.
- The facilities should immediately implement symptom screening for all staff, residents, and visitors, including temperature checks.
- All staff must use appropriate PPE when they are interacting with patients and residents, to the extent PPE is available and per CDC guidance on conservation of PPE.
To avoid transmission, facilities should use separate staffing teams for residents to the best of their ability, and as President Trump announced at the White House on April 2, 2020, the administration urges nursing homes to work with state and local leaders to designate separate facilities or units within a facility to separate COVID-19 negative residents from COVID-19 positive residents and individuals with unknown COVID-19 status.
These recommendations will help long-term care facilities as they consider how to best prevent or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities. For more information on CMS actions, please visit cms.gov.
Today, Apple Inc. – in partnership with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – released an app and website
that guides Americans through a series of questions about their health and exposure to determine if they should seek
care for COVID-19 symptoms. The tool provides CDC recommendations on next steps including guidance on social
distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, recommendations on testing, and when to contact a
This launch is a direct response to President Trump’s call for an all-of-America approach and will help Americans heed
CDC guidelines and self-isolate to limit COVID-19 transmission.
Users can download the free app from Apple’s App Store or access the tool online at www.apple.com/covid19 .
Everyone has a role to play as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. The latest recommendations can be
found at www.coronavirus.gov .
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable
or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most
pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.
ATLANTA, Ga – Governor Brian Kemp announced schools, childcare providers, local governments in Georgia now have the option to close, at least, for the next two weeks, starting this afternoon, during his latest COVID-19 press conference.
Mere hours after he confirmed, the first death in Georgia from COVID-19, Kemp gathered Speaker of the House David Ralston, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to reveal extra measures for Georgians regarding the virus.
“Our message is changing. Elderly Georgians and those with chronic underlying health conditions face a much higher risk of adverse consequences from exposure to coronavirus,” stated Kemp. “We need to help them to dramatically limit their exposure to the public for the foreseeable future.”
These individuals need to avoid mass gatherings, even faith-based events to protect themselves against the virus. Two COVID-19 patients in Bartow did share contact by attending the same church.
Kemp urged citizens to talk with their families and make plans to protect those at risk by picking up their groceries, prescriptions, and helping them in any way possible.
The call to close schools or government offices isn’t a mandate, but, rather, the option now available, when “prudent”, to help keep Georgians safe. However, if counties, schools, or childcare providers don’t see a need to shut down, then they do not have to close.
Additionally, all elder care facilities are now closed to visitation until April 10, 2020, except for family members and end of life services.
Non-essential travel and telework are now in effect for state government, but the government offices and Capitol will remain open. Kemp’s office will send out guidance to all agency leaders for implantation.
The governor also implemented four new committees as part of the coronavirus task force: Emergency Preparedness Committee, led by Insurance Safety and Fire Commissioner John King, Economic Impact Committee, led by State Economist Jeff Dorfman, Primary Care Physicians Committee, led by Dr. Ben Watson, and Homeless Community Committee, led by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Update on Testing Capabilities
Toomey stated that currently the state can perform 50 tests a day and the department of health has more equipment on the way as well as additional training. She hopes the number will be up to 100 tests a day by the end of next week. Right now, Georgia has enough materials to conduct 500 tests in part thanks to the support from the CDC.
“We are testing high-risk patients,” said Toomey.
20 percent of patients have more severe diseases and five percent need help breathing, so those who fall into the high-risk category are being tested first.
Lab Corp can now process tests, which should speed up the process. The CDC has eased restrictions on COVID-19 testing, so the M-95 masks are no longer necessary as part of protective equipment.
She stressed the importance of those who might have COVID-19 to call ahead because no one wants to infect those in the emergency room or waiting room.