Select Your Destination
 

< Feature Stories >

Be kind to your mind!

COVID-19 PA County Testing

DCNR Moves to Open State Park Swimming Beaches & Pools

How it Works & When You Should Use It

Pastor Mike recounts the story of an ancient warrior king

Tioga County observes Memorial Day

Community cheers for Class of 2020 car parade in Wellsboro

Spacious, peaceful home atop the hills above Hills Creek

Tioga County is Moving to Green May 29

COVID-19 PA County Testing

PIAA Supports Return to Play

C&N Appoints Local Team Members to VP

Support For Child Care Providers

Welcoming Chiropractor Dr. Sarah Taylor to the Laurel Health Family

 
 
 

Protect the Elderly

Drive Down COVID-19 Death Rate and Reopen Society

 

by Allison Hydzik - May 7, 2020

UPMC Senior Communities haven’t seen any cases of COVID-19 among residents, despite the elderly being among the most vulnerable, UPMC officials shared at a press briefing today.

Early interventions, innovative precautions, enhanced screenings, fast testing and thorough training on use of personal protective equipment are contributors to UPMC’s success in keeping COVID-19 out of its long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, said Dr. David A. Nace, chief medical officer of UPMC Senior Communities.

“Before there was a single case of COVID-19 in the regions we serve, we put into place plans and precautions to protect our elderly residents,” said Nace, also president of AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. “We’ve adjusted and added to these precautions as we’ve learned more.”

UPMC operates 36 senior living facilities in 21 Pennsylvania counties, providing secure and friendly surroundings for nearly 3,000 older adults.

Visitation restrictions, coupled with creative ways for families to stay connected with UPMC Senior Communities residents, such as video chats and drive-by parades, were among the first interventions the health system instituted to protect its long-term care residents.

These and other precautions implemented in a transparent fashion, with several virtual town-halls where staff, residents and families could ask questions and give feedback, were essential to the success of these measures, Nace said.

Across the country, the elderly and nursing home residents have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, with the majority of Allegheny County’s COVID-19 deaths in long-term care residents, said Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at UPMC. The median age of death from COVID-19 in Pennsylvania is 84, while the average U.S. life expectancy is 78.5.

“Nobody wants to think about our parents, grandparents and respected elders dying before their time,” said Yealy. “This is distressing, but also an opportunity to do better.”

The doctors said that UPMC is sharing the measures it has taken in its long-term care and assisted–living facilities with the hope that other facilities nationwide can replicate the health system’s success.

One of the more unique measures is setting 99 degrees Fahrenheit as the cut-off temperature for a UPMC Senior Communities resident to be considered feverish, rather than the more standard 100 degrees, because older adults have lower body temperatures and often don’t mount the same fever response as younger individuals. Elderly people with fevers are cared for with infection control precautions until clinicians are sure they do not have COVID-19.

Yealy said efforts like this that strategically protect the most vulnerable citizens should allow for a safe reopening of society and the economy.

“If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1% down to fractions of a percent,” Yealy said. “As others adopt these critically important measures UPMC is using, society should be able to move forward with far less restrictive, common sense precautions, such as frequent handwashing, staying home when sick and wearing masks or maintaining some physical distance in public areas.”

UPMC will be regularly updating the community on this developing situation. Follow UPMC News for updates.

Credits:

Writing: Allison Hydzik

 

Funded by UPMC

< Current Stories >

 

See More Current Stories

 

Be kind to your mind!

May 29, 2020

 

70,735 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases for Pennsylvani

May 29, 2020

 

Effective Saturday, June 6, all 58 state park beaches will be open to swimming

May 28, 2020

 

How it Works & When You Should Use It

May 28, 2020

 

Pastor Mike recounts the story of an ancient warrior king

May 27, 2020

 

Tioga County observes Memorial Day

May 26, 2020

 

Community cheers for Class of 2020 car parade in Wellsboro

May 25, 2020

 

Spacious, peaceful home atop the hills above Hills Creek

May 23, 2020

 

Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force Update

May 22, 2020

 

66,258 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases for Pennsylvania

May 22, 2020

 

“We want kids to be kids and play sports and be representatives of their school and community.”

May 22, 2020

 

Driving the future growth of C&N in this region and beyond

May 21, 2020

 

County Commissioners petition Governor Wolf to open up

May 21, 2020

 

Encourage local students through this special program!

May 21, 2020

 

State to Distribute $51 million in CARES Funding

May 20, 2020

 

Welcoming Chiropractor Dr. Sarah Taylor to the Laurel Health Family

May 20, 2020

 

JGM Coach & Benedicts Bus Service rally for awareness

May 18, 2020

 

Local business preview following yellow phase launch

May 15, 2020

 

Census money allocations, resources & signs explained

May 14, 2020

 

Approved Over $98 Million for Local Businesses

May 12, 2020

 

Berndtson selected as one of the first PA teachers to serve

May 12, 2020

 

Jessica Monger receives Akiko's floral arrangement & $100!

May 11, 2020

 

Discussion of Regional Effects of COVID-19

May 8, 2020

 

Rolling For Awareness: Saving Our Buses

May 7, 2020

 

Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force Update

May 6, 2020

 

Win $100.00 cash and Mom’s Day flowers from Akiko’s

May 5, 2020

 

UPMC is taking extraordinary precautions to maintain safety

May 4, 2020

 

Representative Clint Owlett on Governor Wolf's Statement

May 1, 2020

 

Happy birthday to Home Page VP, Sara Vogt!

May 1, 2020

 

Movin' Together: Moving Through Injury During COVID-19

April 30, 2020

 
 

Load More Stories