St. Catherine’s Village nursing home halts visitation to prevent introduction of coronavirus

Nursing home protections against coronavirus

MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - Concerns over the spread of the coronavirus has prompted nursing homes and retirement communities to take action.

Some going to St. Catherine’s Village Tuesday said they are being turned away. St. Dominic Hospital operates the assisted and independent living center.

Officials have been meeting with medical staff and team members to review preparedness plans and ensure all needed supplies are stocked.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and in close communication with residents’ families, we have closed St. Catherine’s Village to visitors,” said Dr. Erick McVey, Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs and Quality at St. Dominic’s. “While St. Dominic Hospital is not currently closed to visitors, we do encourage people experiencing flu-like symptoms, especially fever or coughing, to postpone visiting patients or other public outings until they are symptom-free."

Dr. Maria Rappai is a pulmonary critical care physician at Baptist Hospital.

She recommends that the elderly and people with illnesses that make them at risk for lung infections eliminate the risks for exposure to the corona virus.

“When you get older you don’t mount as good a response to an infection. So it makes you sicker when you get ill‚” said Rappai. “Avoid crowds, maybe don’t shake hands, nod yes, do the elbow and keep hand sanitizer if you have it or wash your hands."

The Mississippi Health Care Association is the largest association of nursing homes, personal care homes and other long term care facilities.

"We are in close contact with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Mississippi State Department of Health, as they are our regulatory authorities, regarding guidance to prevent COVID-19 in long term care facilities," said Executive Director Vanessa Phipps Henderson.

“We are continuing to provide that information to all of our member facilities in Mississippi in order to take all reasonable efforts to prevent the entry of the virus into any facilities. As any new, additional information becomes available from our regulatory entities, we will immediately provide that to all of our member facilities across the state.”

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