INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI)- Governor Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday the Indiana National Guard will be stepping in to help long term care facilities fight COVID-19. According to Governor Eric Holcomb, 75 percent of all covid-19 deaths are of people that are 70 years of age or older. Fifty percent of those deaths are occurring in long-term care facilities. Now the Governor and the Indiana state department of health are taking more steps to stop the spread
The Indiana National Guard will be deployed to Long-Term Care Facilities that already have an outbreak of the virus. National Guard members will focus on data entry, COVID-19 testing, and screening employees. This way, care facility employees can focus on treating residents. Second, the state will be providing more PPE to facilities. The state will provide two million N95 masks for long-term care facilities so all patient-facing staff will wear one when interacting with a patient. The state will also provide 400,000 face shields and 680,000 gowns to long-term care facilities as well. Third, the state department of health will also be re-enforcing infection control protocol and updating several recommendations.
In an effort to reduce ongoing admission to facilities, the state will allow an immediate discharge from a hospital to a patient’s home for in-home rehabilitation. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the state of Indiana a first of its kind waiver to do so.
“We will start with facilities that already have a registered outbreak,” said Governor Eric Holcomb “Just so you know an outbreak by definition is 1 case. Therefore, we are going to be getting out all over the state of Indiana.”
Along with all of these new efforts, long-term care facilities will have access to the health care reserve workforce. These efforts will go into full effect starting November 1 and will continue through the end of the year.