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UPMC doctors give update on nursing home care of elderly

WILLIAMSPORT — UPMC doctors Donald Yealy, UPMC chair of emergency medicine, and David A. Nace, UPMC Senior Communities chief medical officer, offered an update on UPMC’s long-term care and nursing facilities in a recent press briefing, stating the system continues to adapt to changes amidst the pandemic.

Whether for its long-term care, independent living or nursing home facilities, UPMC has been adapting its policies and procedures to identify the best course of care for patients, including testing of all asymptomatic residents and providing antibody testing for staff members, said Nace.

“We know that this (the elderly) is a vulnerable population,” he said. “We need to hunt it (the virus) down.”

They are starting this testing plan at one location and will expand it to all facilities as time moves forward.

“We can’t test our way out of COVID, it (testing) is a tool and like all tools, it has to be used appropriately,” Yealy said. “(We are) making sure that everyone in our facilities is paying attention to our residents, both with symptoms and asymptomatic.”

Senior communities are also working on legislation for more intense care for the elderly population.

A proposed act will open the opportunity for enhanced and onsite testing, enhanced consultations and contact tracing, clinical care services and more.

“Protecting the elderly is a critical component to reopening society,” Nace added.

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