CDC guidelines for COVID-19 outbreak in memory care units

With eight new cases added to the number of COVID-19 infections at Canyon Creek Memory Care in Billings, the facility now has a total of 45 residents and 21 staff members who have tested positive for the virus.  So where do they go from here?

BILLINGS, Mont. -- With eight new cases added to the number of COVID-19 infections at Canyon Creek Memory Care in Billings, the facility now has a total of 45 residents and 21 staff members who have tested positive for the virus.  So where do they go from here?

The Center for Disease Control says memory care facilities can be especially difficult to contain COVID-19 because residents can have a difficult time remembering to follow the recommended safety guidelines, such as social distancing, washing their hands, not touching their face, and wearing a mask.  Furthermore, changes to routine, disruption in schedule, and unfamiliar equipment can lead to fear and anxiety with some memory care residents.

The CDC says in order to start the path to reopening, all personnel should wear eye protection and at least a face covering, when N-95 or other respirators are not available.  They also encourage staff to consider the potential pros and cons of moving residents to a designated COVID-19 care unit.  The CDC says moving residents may decrease the risk of exposure, but residents with cognitive impairment may experience disorientation, anger, and agitation which may lead to other safety concerns.  If residents are moved, the CDC suggests moving familiar objects into the space, to make the resident feel more comfortable.

RiverStone Health in Billings says it continues to assist Canyon Creek Memory Care in managing the outbreak in the facility.

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