Dr Michael Wasserman has agreed to call-in to talk to John & Ken today on the issue of how more than half of the COVID-19 LA County deaths have occured in nursing homes. Dr Wasserman is president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine and has plenty of thoughts on how and why this happened.
Capital & Main: What has been the response of the L.A. County Department of Public Health to the COVID crisis in nursing homes?
Dr. Wasserman: On April 22, [LAC DPH Director Barbara Ferrer] announced that she had been wrong and they needed to test all the nursing home residents and staff. It’s [now] a month later and they still haven’t tested all the nursing homes. The crazy part is that the testing they are doing is misguided and scientifically unsound. They are testing facilities that had outbreaks — [where] the genie is out of the bottle. What you need to be doing is testing all the facilities that haven’t had outbreaks and test all the staff and residents in those facilities.
We have been trying since the end of March to get L.A. County to do the right thing. We have literally been telling them what they need to do.
The worst part is that we have no idea what the full extent of this outbreak is in L.A. nursing homes and we have been at this for two and a half months. Everyone seems to understand the validity of testing the people who could bring this virus into the places where it could be most lethal. The county health department doesn’t seem to understand this.
John & Ken will not stop asking these questions and gladly welcome back Dr Wasserman @ 5pm whose expertise on the issues of nursing homes is second to none.
photo via getty images