In its effort to continue providing comprehensive public information regarding coronaviruses cases in Chester County, the Chester County Health Department has added new data to its COVID-19 webpages, focused on long term care facilities and personal care homes.
The new data can be accessed on Chester County’s COVID-19 web page, chesco.org/coronavirus.
Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Casner said, “Given the congregate nature of long term care facilities and personal care homes, and the fact that they serve older adults who often have underlying chronic medical conditions, they are at the highest risk of being affected by COVID-19.
“The data that we are publishing helps to give context to our overall case numbers and is a snapshot of the challenges that our long term care facilities and personal care homes are facing. Our definition of ‘outbreak’ begins with just one case in a congregate care setting, so the data we are reporting reflects that,” added Casner.
One of the key roles of the Chester County Health Department as it relates to COVID-19 is the assistance to long term care facilities and personal care homes in identifying cases, reviewing practices and managing the spread of the coronavirus. But, in addition to this support, many of the facilities have reached a point where staff, residents and families of residents also need emotional and mental health support.
“Staff of long term care facilities and personal care homes are understandably feeling worn out and at times helpless; residents are fearful; and families are not feeling as connected to their loved ones,” noted Casner. “All of this takes its toll, so we are also working with staff in our human services department, department of aging and department of mental health services, to provide holistic wellness support for everyone affected – staff, residents and families,” noted Casner.
As long term care facilities and personal care homes are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health or Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Chester County Health Department does not provide details of COVID-19 cases or deaths to specifically named long term care facilities or personal care homes.