MASON CITY, Iowa - In light of a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Cerro Gordo County that officials say are being linked to a long-term care facility, we're looking at how similar facilities are stepping up to protect residents and employees.
Like many such facilities, the IOOF Home in Mason City has been on lockdown since March. Unlike some facilities across the country that have dealt with large outbreak, the IOOF Home has been spared from such an outbreak. Administrator Michael Davis credits the consistent, hard work employees have implemented to avoid such a scenario, and notes that there are steps employees need to take, both on and off the clock. For example, for employees that travel out of state, Davis says that employees are asked to self-isolate and quarantine for at least 2 weeks before returning to work.
"It's been a total team effort, from adminstration, director of nursing, the nursing staff in every other department...it's been a combined effort to try to protect the residents, as well as each other."
"We've reiterated to the staff that, 'hey, when you're out in public, you need to wear that mask. Always your PPE properly while in the facility. Practice your standard precautions, including handwashing,' things like that. Just to protect each other and our very, very vulnerable population that we serve."
With case numbers ramping up, how long will the home be shut down? Davis says they'll continue to monitor the numbers.
"That's something that we're going to have to play week to week, month to month, and who knows? Our ultimate goal is that we protect the residents as well as the staff and the family members."
For residents who are wanting to stay in touch with loved ones, Davis says the home's board of directors recently approved the purchase of several tablets for residents to use.