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Press Release 5/18/2020

St. Louis County's Department of Public Health has been recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for its work to protect nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMS cites St. Louis County's work twice in its May 2020 publication, Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes.

  • May 18, 2020
  • Press Release

St. Louis County Cited as Setting National Standard for Nursing Home Care during COVID-19 Response

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (May 18, 2020) – St. Louis County’s Department of Public Health has been recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for its work to protect nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMS cites St. Louis County’s work twice in its May 2020 publication, Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes. This toolkit catalogs the many innovative solutions designed at the state level to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nursing homes in St. Louis County and across the country are particularly vulnerable communities for the spread of COVID-19,” said County Executive Dr. Sam Page. “I am proud of St. Louis County’s Department of Public Health’s implementation of thoughtful, compassionate, and effective guidelines that are being recognized on a national level.”

This report’s release comes out the same week that County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced the County’s Quick Reaction Team, an extension of the High-Risk Task Force focused on responding to identified COVID-19 hot spots in the community. The team goes in with testing, training, PPE and to do a deep cleaning. They are in and out in a day and the team can be deployed 24-7.

St. Louis County’s Department of Public Health is recognized under the “Workforce and Staffing” and “Personal Protective Equipment: Actions to improve utilization of PPE” sections of the CMS toolkit on nursing home actions.

In particular, the report cites the County’s establishment of a High-Risk Task Force, composed of volunteer doctors and registered nurses:

  • “Team members serve as liaisons between long term care facilities and the Department of Public Health. Working remotely, team members answer questions, meet informational needs and monitor each facility’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).”
  • “In some cases, the task force has worked with the St. Louis County Police’s Office of Emergency Management to provide PPE to facilities that lack adequate supplies.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a governmental office of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) focused on helping states build “smarter and healthier system[s] so that these programs will continue as the standard bearers for coverage, quality and innovation in American health care”.

The full report can be found on cms.gov here: Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes.

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