Assisted living, nursing homes battling COVID

Assisted living and skilled nursing centers in Door and Kewaunee counties have not been spared from the impact of COVID-19 in recent weeks. Late last month, Door County Medical Center announced a number of its residents and staff members were infected with the coronavirus. President and CEO Brian Stephens told last week that they have turned a corner since then, but there are still some active cases within the facility. They have not been alone in those regards as a number of other skilled-nursing and assisted-living centers in Door and Kewaunee Counties were handling their own outbreaks. Earlier this month, Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard told the Kewaunee County Board that a number of new positive cases and deaths in the area had come from such facilities. Kinnard says assisted living and nursing homes need to follow the guidelines that are in place not just to keep their residents and staff safe but also to be able to admit new patients.

Governor Tony Evers announced last week $131 million in funding to help close the gap in staffing issues, long-term care direct payment program supplements, and post-acute care admission incentives. On a positive note, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recognized close to 1,100 nursing homes, including Algoma Medical Center, for having at least 50 percent of its staff complete COVID-19 training.

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