PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — The Pima County Health Department released COVID-19 data details providing a more outlined analysis of early cases of the outbreak in the community.
The data displays the exposure that residents and staff of long-term care and other congregate living facilities risk.
According to the Pima County Health Department, all cases since the first in Pima County reported in early March through April 23, cases among residents and healthcare employees in congregate environments made up:
- 27 percent of cases
- 43 percent of hospitalizations
- 53 percent of deaths
Below is a table that shows the separation of those cases by residents versus staff:
After the first long-term care related cluster was reported by disease investigators last month, PCHD has taken steps to protect residents and staff before and after a case in a facility is identified, according to Pima County Health Department.
“Facilities are assigned to a team of public health nurses and disease investigators dedicated specifically to providing guidance, education and resources to staff and decision makers. The largest part of our investigation and outreach response since the very beginning has been to help our partners quickly identify and respond to cases among their residents and staff," Health Department Director Dr. Bob England said.
Once the team of public health nurses and disease investigators has identified a COVID-19 case within a facility, they coordinate with the facility's leaders to carry out a plan of action for separating positive cases, increasing infection control practices, and making testing more available to staff and residents.
PCHD has also made it a priority for long-term care partners to receive personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing supplies, which is being distributed by the County. Along with that are regular organized calls with facility representatives to answer questions and recognize resource needs.
Since there is a widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Pima County, long-term care facilities face challenges that can be hard to prevent, according to PCHD.
With facilities restricting visitors, there things individuals can do if they know someone in a long-term care facility provided by PCHD:
- Check-in with your loved-one often via phone or video chat, if available. Ask how they are doing mentally and emotionally.
- Find out how the facility is helping residents stay connected to family and other loved ones – e.g., assistance making phone calls or video chats, setting regular schedules for outside interaction.
- Make sure you know how the facility communicates important information to residents and families.
- Understand the best way to get updates on your loved one’s well-being from their healthcare providers. As more care is provided virtually, make sure you know how to stay informed.