WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - COVID-19 has proven difficult to keep out of long-term care facilities. It’s something Samaritan Medical Center is seeing now, as novel coronavirus has spread to 17 assisted living residents and 19 skilled nursing residents at Samaritan Summit Village.
Medical Director, Dr. Collins Kellogg says staff has made it their mission to drive COVID out.
“It’s frequent testing,” said Dr. Kellogg. “It’s keeping the facility clean, and isolating and cohorting our positive patients as fast as we can.”
Dr. Kellogg says the number of tests for residents and staff can change as positive results are found.
“In general, the staff members are tested once a week. And residents are tested at least once, if not twice a week, or more frequently,” Dr. Kellogg said.
Residents who have tested positive are isolated in a COVID-19 unit. They still receive daily care, with tele-health, personal visits from providers, and care from nurses.
“Nursing staff monitors them closely, obviously keeps track of their vital signs, looks for any symptoms of COVID,” Dr. Kellogg said. “Some of our residents are asymptomatic, some have mild symptoms.”
“Our staff are so aware of all the hardships the residents, the residents families are going through right now, as you normally would on the holidays,” said Samaritan Director of Communications Leslie DiStefano. “(Staff members) Being that loved one for so many of our residents I think is really important. We’re nine months in, and they’ve really done an exceptional job.”
Dr. Kellogg says staff spirits still remain strong.
“They’re somewhat tired, like I am. I think morale remains good. I think people are just rallying because they’re attached to these residents. They’re professionals.”
Staff at Samaritan Summit Village are looking forward to COVID-19 vaccinations. According to Dr. Kellogg, staff and residents will be getting the vaccine in the first week of January.