Saida Maalin |Contributor

A specially designed group of nurses have been assigned to assist nursing homes as a result of COVID-19.

The decision to combine skill and education to create this team was made by the Department of Behavioral Health, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center  and the Department of Public Health.

“Nationally and locally, patients in skilled nursing homes and other assisted living facilities have been among those most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Curt Hagman, chairman of the SB County Board of Supervisors.

The task force’s objectives are to provide support throughout the county and departments by assisting caregivers with training to avoid exposure and minimize spread.

“Nationally and locally, patients in skilled nursing homes and other assisted living facilities have been among those most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic…” – Curt Hagman, chairman of the SB County Board of Supervisors

“In response, we are devoting considerable effort and resources to assist these facilities and offer further protection to the County’s most vulnerable residents,” said Hagman.

San Bernardino County had a total of  3,795 confirmed cases and 158 confirmed deaths through Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The County also has the fifth highest number of cases among the state’s 58 counties.

The skilled task team, also known as Outreach Support Team (SO+S), have already begun visiting facilities to assess how they are functioning, to offer education, equipment and better practices for nurses.

Staff will be trained in new practices on how to care for exposed patients. They must check their own temperature twice a day and if symptoms begin to show, staff must stay home and get tested.

According to Riverside University Public Health, the county’s Long Term Care facilities have 580 confirmed COVID-19 patients and 274 confirmed staff infections.

Guidance strategies and resources for Assisted Living facilities and home care patients and staff have been the focus for many counties and will continue until this pandemic is over.

For general information call (909) 387-3911. To schedule a site visit contact Christian Barragan (909) 677-6533 or email barraganC@armc.sbcounty.gov.

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