Long-Term Care Ask Residents To Stay Put This Holiday Season

Published: Monday, November 16, 2020 - 10:46am
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 1:11pm

Arizona appears to be on the brink of another coronavirus surge, and like before, it’ll impact residents in long-term care. This latest wave could hit around the holidays.

It has already been a brutal eight months for residents and staff in long-term care facilities. And now the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are asking residents to stay put this holiday season.

David Voepel is the CEO of the Arizona Health Care Association. 

"So with our numbers increasing, probably, at the worst possible time, we're going to get a surge in around Thanksgiving or Christmas. If we don't want to make that worse, ADHS is asking that everybody refrain from going out of the long-term care facility, and going to family dinners and partaking in, you know, family get- togethers," Voepel said. 

If the virus does enter facilities, Voepel says staff are now better equipped to deal with it — they know what to expect. Still, as long-term care facilities in Arizona gear up for another wave of COVID-19 infections, many are still struggling with the same issues from the summer — testing, staffing shortages and PPE. 

Here's Voepel, again.

"We have members that are struggling to get gloves, it reaches a frustration point when you go to place an order for gloves, something as simple as gloves that you have to have, and then they're back ordered for two weeks. So folks are trying to stay stocked up and trying to plan for this upcoming surge," he said. 

Coronavirus Aging