DES MOINES, Iowa — As coronavirus cases spike in Iowa, several nursing homes are stepping up their efforts to protect their nurses.
“We all know that residents are at a high risk because of their age and other health conditions,” said Luther Park Community Chief Operating Officer Carol Sipfle. “But we tend to forget about the employees because the employees are out and about in the community and so we really do a number of things to help keep them safe.”
Some of the ways the nursing facility is keeping people safe is by screening workers’ temperatures and filling out a questionnaire.
“In our nursing home, we are testing employees twice a week. That is a federal mandate and that number of times we have to do that testing has to do with the positivity rate in Polk County,” said Sipfle.
Across the state, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 900 lives of people living in long term care facilities.
Sipfle believes the state is doing its best to guide senior living care facilities through this pandemic.
“The state is doing everything they can. Obviously, we’d like to see stronger mandates for masks, and it seems like we’re moving in that direction, but we’re all in this together,” Sipfle said.