Keeping Nursing Home Residents and Staff Safe in the Era of COVID-19

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Courtesy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s

Download PowerPoint Slides HERE (PDF)

This event was sponsored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, and the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence.

Nursing home residents make up less than one-half of one percent of the U.S. population, but represent approximately 15 percent of COVID-19 related deaths to date according to one recent estimate. Safeguarding frail, vulnerable nursing home patients, who tend to have multiple chronic conditions–and the health care professionals who care for them—is a very difficult but surmountable challenge amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nursing home residents who exhibit symptoms of the covid-19 virus are often taken immediately to the hospital, which may lack the capacity to provide appropriate care for them. Often they are not allowed to return to the nursing home for fear of spreading the infection to other vulnerable residents and staff.

States and localities across the U.S. are seeking effective ways to provide high-quality care to as many nursing home patients as is possible without transporting them to the hospital, while ensuring nursing home staff have the appropriate personal protective equipment and are trained how to use—and in many cases reuse—this equipment, and how to implement infection prevention and control measures on site.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted this one-hour webinar to highlight the innovative approaches to address these complex challenges that are currently being implemented in the state of Maryland. The collaborative approach involves health care professionals at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the state department of health, emergency medicine professionals, and newly formed “strike teams” made up of members of the National Guard.


Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation


Michele F. Bellantoni, MD, CMD, Associate Professor & Clinical Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Medical Director, Specialty Hospital Programs, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center 

Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director of Strategic Partnerships for CAPABLE and Adjunct Faculty, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Timothy Chizmar, MD, FACEP, State EMS Medical Director, MIEMSS Morgan Katz, MD, MHS, Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship, Johns Hopkins Bayview , Assistant Professor Infectious Disease , Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine