Residential Congregate Facilities at High Risk for COVID-19

submitted by Jamie Hekker, Community Engagement Coordinator, Public Health – Muskegon County

Muskegon, MI – Public Health – Muskegon County continues to investigate all positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Muskegon County. As anticipated, cases have been identified in employees and residents of residential congregate facilities such as long term care, assisted living, and adult foster care. No further information about the residents or employees will be released due to privacy laws.

“Because residents of these types of facilities are typically elderly and many have medical conditions,” explained Kathy Moore, Muskegon County Health Officer, “they are at higher risk of becoming sick with many illnesses including COVID-19.”

Public Health – Muskegon County works closely with long term care, assisted living, and adult foster care facilities to ensure they are aware of infection control practices and knowledgeable of Muskegon Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. Their diligent efforts to protect those most vulnerable and their cooperation with PHMC on the ongoing response to this pandemic are greatly appreciated.

Residential congregate facilities are proactively working to protect their vulnerable residents and their staff by:
Monitoring employees and residents for symptoms of respiratory illness.
Limiting activities within their facilities.
Requiring residents to quarantined in their rooms.
Restricting all visitors to the facility.
Enhancing use of personal protective equipment for staff.
Increasing cleaning and disinfection routines.

“COVID-19 is present in our community,” reminded Moore. “To help protect those most vulnerable, especially those in assisted living and long term care, we need everyone to do their part to minimize the spread of this virus in our community.”

Everyone should continue to follow recommendations:
Stay at home as much as possible. Only go out for essentials like groceries or for medical emergencies.
If you must go out, stay six feet away from others and wear a cloth face covering
Wash your hands often and try not to touch your face or mouth
Cover your coughs and sneezes and call your doctor for guidance if you become sick.