SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Controversial “coronavirus wings” have been popping up at nursing homes across the state.
Not everyone thinks its a good idea, especially those with loved ones at assisted living facilities, sharing the same space.
Betsey Donovan, Chief Operating Officer at Eskaton Senior Living, says there’s a need now for a space for senior coronavirus patients that are discharged from hospitals but still need intensive care.
“When they’re ready to go, there needs to be a place for them to go,” Donovan said.
Now, the Eskaton in Fair Oaks will open its doors.
“We’re learning from the experts we can do both, we can protect the vulnerable who have not tested positive while meeting the short-term needs of those who are in the step-down program,” she said.
Donovan says to do that, they’ve created units that are self-contained. Staff only enter this wing and nothing is shared, supplies or staff.
The staff also get additional training. The goal is to get people out of hospitals to open up beds and alleviate staffing issues.
“We do believe in separating folks that do have a positive diagnosis from those that do not in a way that maintains the ability to minimize the risk as much as possible,” Donovan said.
But there’s been concern about how contagious this virus really is. That’s especially true those for those like Lydia Sizelove, whose mother is an Eskaton resident.
“I look through the window at her, we touch hands. It’s very frustrating. She’s full of life, you know, I love my mom,” said Sizelove.
We asked Eskaton staff whether they are concerned about airflow transfer from the coronavirus wing, throughout the building.
“The information we’ve been given from the CDC, this is droplet transmission and we feel there is no risk,” said Stephen Fife with Eskaton.
Sacramento County Public Health says Eskaton followed the CDC and Department of Health strategies to set up the program.
And you could see more of these wings popping up in the Sacramento area, soon.
“They’ve created ample space between this wing and the adjoining building,” said Carlos Cossio, Program Coordinator with the Department of Health. “I think we will see it happen more and more and it’s a model that can be replicated.”
The skilled nursing facility can house up to 16 patients at one time. Eskaton partnered with both Sacramento County Health and Kaiser for this program.