10+ states sending ‘strike teams’ to nursing homes

At least 10 states have sent “strike teams” to nursing homes to help ease the pandemic’s burden and possibly combat the spread of COVID-19, according to The New York Times.

Consisting of medical workers, emergency responders, clergy and others, COVID strike teams are based on an emergency response model traditionally used in natural disasters. The teams are designed to supply more resources and personnel, while also helping limit the number of residents with milder illness sent to overburdened hospitals

Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin have all sent strike teams to long-term care facilities with outbreaks. Other states have proposed teams but not yet adopted the strategy.

“Desperate times, like a pandemic, call for a different way of thinking,” said Timothy Chizmar, MD, emergency medical services director for Maryland. “The idea has roots in trauma settings, where it’s just not possible to take everybody off the scene — sometimes you need to take some medical care to them.”

More research is still needed to prove if strike teams are effective in combating outbreaks in nursing homes.

More articles on post-acute care:
Nursing home COVID-19 cases, deaths on the rise after decline
Minnesota nursing home sues woman for saying facility is trying to kill residents with COVID-19 testing
New York nursing home sent residents to hospitals to die, some state officials claim

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