HARTFORD, Conn. -- Some states are setting aside entire nursing homes for residents who are recovering from COVID-19 but still might be contagious or not have immunity.
Critics worry about harm that might come to frail, elderly residents by transferring them to make room in repurposed nursing homes.
But some health experts and advocates see potential in combating further infection and freeing up hospital space.
And many relatives embrace the concept as a way to protect their loved ones.
The first of nine planned nursing homes in Connecticut set aside for recuperating COVID-19 patients opened this month.
The concept has been introduced in other states including Massachusetts and Utah.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.