LINCOLN – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) visited Life Care Center in Elkhorn Monday and conducted an inspection based upon information received by DHHS and conversations with the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)/Nebraska Medicine. DHHS is in the process of reviewing the findings. If the department takes disciplinary action based on the findings or if allegations are not substantiated, the information will be available once the process is completed.
Life Care Center in Elkhorn is a long-term care facility where numerous residents and staff have tested positive for COVID-19. DHHS is collaborating with DCHD and UNMC/Nebraska Medicine to help protect the health and safety of those living and working at the facility.
An infection preventionist from Nebraska's Infection Control Assessment and Promotion Program or ICAP is working with the facility on infection control precautions and protocols needed to maintain safety, ensure care of residents and mitigate the spread of the virus. The facility also had a visit from UNMC/Nebraska Medicine's National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center team (NETEC), which provides additional expertise and technical support.
At this time, the decision has been made to continue to serve residents in the facility who do not require hospitalization. Staffing levels are appropriate to continue to provide care for the residents.
Care for residents in Nebraska's long-term care facilities is a top priority. DHHS, local health departments and UNMC/Nebraska Medicine serve a resource for facilities with the goal of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
When a COVID-19 positive resident or staff member is reported in a long-term care facility, the local health department investigates to identify possible exposures.
DHHS works closely with the local health department to conduct case investigations and contact tracing to identify anyone who could have been exposed to the positive resident or staff member.
Additional testing is conducted at the facility.
Any facility that has a resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19, an infection preventionist from ICAP will work with them on additional infection control precautions and protocols needed.
Here are some other types of assistance and resources available to long-term care facilities:
- DHHS and ICAP are assisting long-term care facilities to conduct proactive infection control surveys, which help them look at policies and protocols and how they can strengthen them before the facility has an issue.
- Live webinars are being held weekly – DHHS in partnership with ICAP provides updates on COVID-19 information and guidance specific to long-term care like personal protective equipment use and containment of COVID-19 in facilities.
- Through this partnership, there is also an infection preventionist available 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer questions related to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. (402-552-2881)
- DHHS and ICAP have developed various long-term care facility guidance on prevention and containment of COVID-19, which are available on ICAP's website along with other educational training resources - https://icap.nebraskamed.com .
- ICAP also works with NETEC team in coordinating onsite visits focused on providing technical support and real-time education to those long-term care facilities who are managing residents diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Additionally, the ICAP team's infection preventionists conduct one-on-one mentoring calls on a regular basis for facilities with COVID-19 cases to help facilities prevent further spread of the virus.