Ten nurses from the Wilmington VA Medical Center in Elsmere are now working with long-term care facilities in Delaware to improve their efforts in combatting coronavirus.
State Division of Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay praised the work of the nurses in assisting the facilities, which have accounted for a sizable percentage of the state’s deaths from COVID-19.
The nurse team was deployed as the state moves to universal testing for all nursing home staff and patients.
The Centers. for Disease Control and Prevention has identified nursing homes as a source of community spread of coronavirus. The facilities have a combination of close quarters and vulnerable residents. While visitors are banned, staff can contract the virus and not have symptoms when going home.
Delaware has seen outbreaks at a Milford long-term care facility that claimed 29 lives with a Newark facility seeing 11 deaths.
Rattay said at the press briefing that the state and health care providers have performed 30,000 tests in the state, with Sussex County accounting for much of the activity.
The Route 113 corridor in the county has seen an outbreak of the virus. The corridor is the site of poultry processing plants with close quarters that aid in the spread of the virus.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team is in Sussex County as part of an effort to deal with the outbreak.
So far, Delaware’s corrections system has been able to stave off COVID-TV outbreaks that have spread beyond the walls in other states.