Wayne County Health Department visits nursing homes amid COVID-19 pandemic

Defender cameras on site during visit

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – The Wayne County Health Department has made big moves in fighting coronavirus (COVID-19) in nursing homes.

The mission is to get more tests and personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of the virus.

Local 4 Defender cameras were there Monday afternoon as members of the Health Department visited a local nursing home.

April 27, 2020 -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 38,210; Death toll now at 3,407

In Wayne County, more than 1,006 of the county’s COVID-19 cases are among nursing home patients and staff. Wayne County Health Officer Carol Austerberry said there are two main issues they need to solve: testing and training.

Wayne County health workers suited up and went inside nursing homes on Monday. They plan on visiting 60 different nursing homes in the county to find out what the facilities need in terms of help and supplies.

“They have been upfront and wanting our assistance,” Austerberry said.

The visits are to answer a number of questions: Do they have enough personal protective equipment? Do they need more COVID-19 tests for residents and staff? Are their workers trained properly so the spread of the virus can be contained?

READ: CDC adds 6 new possible symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

“We are working with the state to get more tests,” Austerberry said. “Facilities that really need them.”

As in any business there are good ones and bad ones and Austerberry admitted there are some specific homes on the county’s radar that could be doing better for its residents -- but she would not issue any names at this point.

Right now, she said their attention is on doing visits so seniors can be protected.

“We are all in this fight together and we are going to help nursing homes get the training, testing and equipment they need to adequately protect their residents,” Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said.

MORE: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 nursing home data

Wayne Co. health officials visit nursing home amid COVID-19 pandemic. (WDIV)

Click here to see Michigan’s long term care data

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