COVID

Home closings increase in 2020 along coastal SC counties despite COVID pandemic | Myrtle Beach Business

Myrtle Beach Realtor Travis Muir put a condo up for sale in September at Blue Water Resort on Ocean Boulevard and within an hour, it was sold.

Not an every day occurrence, the realtor for The Hoffman Group admits. But, after all, it’s 2020 and anything can happen.

“The biggest thing is pricing it within realistic market price,” Muir said, adding 2020 has been his best year for sales, pushing nearly triple what he normally does.

“With this one being an investment property, the price point for the rate of return… I think one of the biggest things, too, is the interest rates are lower than they have been in a very long time. That gives people more incentive to go ahead and make that jump. They were thinking of buying in a two- or three-year window, but now with the interest rates so low, people are moving faster.”

Closed sales of single family homes and condos have increased along the southeastern coast of South Carolina, and real estate agents are pointing to low interest rates and the COVID-19 pandemic expediting retirement plans as the reason for the increase.

It has also caused a tight market for available single-family homes and condos, leading one real estate expert to call it the tightest market she’s seen in a decade.

The Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors released a report that showed a gradual increase of closings from June to August.

Closed sales for single-family homes and condos rose from May to June by 6.7 percent, then by 22 percent from June to July and finally by 11.9 percent from July to August. 

The median sales price for single family homes dipped slightly in June to $242,995, and gradually grew to $260,000 in August. Condos increased from $145,000 in June to $161,500 in

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Minn. Guard called in for COVID outbreaks at two nursing homes

In a troubling sign of COVID-19’s resurgence, the Minnesota National Guard has been called in to provide emergency staffing support at two nursing homes struggling to contain large and deadly outbreaks of the respiratory disease.

Over the past 10 days, the National Guard has dispatched small teams of medical professionals to facilities at opposite ends of the state where dozens of residents and staff have been sickened, and where staffing levels became so depleted that they turned to the state for help. Both facilities — one in the southern Minnesota city of Austin and the other on the Iron Range in Hibbing — have active outbreaks and are isolating infected residents in separate COVID-19 units.

The rare deployments come amid an alarming resurgence of COVID-19 across the region and amid mounting evidence that the virus is infiltrating Minnesota’s 2,100 long-term care facilities after declining over the summer. They also reflect how the virus is shifting toward smaller facilities in rural areas where staffing shortages are more severe.

With cases rising statewide, public health experts fear a repeat of the chaotic scenes this spring, when some senior homes became so overwhelmed they had to move residents to hospitals and get support staff to fill in as caregivers because so many employees were infected and had to be quarantined.

The use of rapid testing and stricter isolation techniques have reduced coronavirus-related fatalities in Minnesota’s senior homes since their peak in May. Even so, the list of such facilities with at least one confirmed infection in a resident or worker in the past 28 days has grown from 239 on Sept. 1 to more than 340, the state Health Department reported last week. Slightly more than 70% of Minnesota’s 2,151 coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

“There’s just a

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How Do Real-Estate Agents Show Homes During Covid? With Face Masks, Gloves and Some Ingenuity

Heather T. Roy & Learka Bosnak

Ms. Bosnak: Heather and I have been working together for 15 years and we are very comfortable doing showings together. Then Covid shut everything down. We did a showing and I came back completely frustrated, because we were wearing masks. I felt muzzled. I was constantly running around saying, “I’m smiling under here!” This business is all about rapport, comfort level.

Ms. Roy: We’re like, “We need new skills. We need people to know what we’re thinking, and we also need to know what they’re thinking.” It was almost like we needed a body language expert. I am single and I had met with a couple of matchmakers in L.A. One had her clients meet with a body language expert—Mark Edgar Stephens.

Ms. Bosnak: Heather’s still single, but we love this guy.

Ms. Roy: So we called Mark and told him what we were after, and we had a two-hour Zoom meeting with him and our operations manager, Matthew Ingraham.

Ms. Bosnak: Matthew had gotten us “Heather and Learka” masks—very classy—black with white letting along the cheekbone.

Ms. Roy: Mark said, “Get your masks out, let’s do this.” He had planned exercises for us. He put a mask on and he was like, “OK, I’m just seeing this house. How do I feel?” And he’d make us tell him what we thought he felt. All three of us would be shouting, “Oh my God, you don’t like it!” He explained how much is communicated through eye movement, like crinkles and stuff like that.

Ms. Bosnak: One of his other big tips was to make sure your whole body is working. Face the person and make sure your feet are in the right place. Otherwise you are signaling that you are not listening. Now it’s

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After White Hall case, nursing homes remain key in controlling covid

As covid-19 numbers continue to rise throughout Arkansas and Jefferson County, protecting one of the most vulnerable populations has become a priority on the state level. Nursing home residents were hit hard in the state of Arkansas at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The first nursing home case was reported by the Arkansas Department of Health on March 25 and was associated with the Waters of White Hall.

Health officials announced that the initial case at The Waters of White Hall appeared to be associated with a case linked to the original cluster at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

Since then, the nursing home has had 51 positive residents with the most recent one reported to the health department on Oct. 1. Sixteen residents total were also reported as deceased.

In a previous interview, Donna Morton, the facility’s administrator, released a statement describing The Waters of White Hall’s “aggressive and proactive approach” against the coronavirus through “intense” methods including “monitoring, screening, education and awareness and appropriate prevention and management.”

Efforts to contact Morton on Monday were unsuccessful, but Monday’s report released by the Arkansas Department of Health showed the health care facility has 34 residents who have recovered.

Posts on their social media page pictured residents who had defeated covid-19, calling them the “true heroes.”

On Mar. 13, the Department of Health issued a directive temporarily suspending visitation to nursing homes in Arkansas to reduce the spread of the virus. The directive prohibited all visitation at long-term care facilities unless medically necessary by law enforcement or emergency personnel, a representative from the Department of Health, a representative from the Department of Human Services Office of Long-Term Care or a representative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In June the Department of Health allowed the facilities to reopen

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Nearly three times more COVID deaths in Mississippi’s for-profit nursing homes, analysis shows | State Government

Twice as many residents caught COVID-19 at Mississippi’s for-profit nursing homes, and nearly three times more died there, an analysis of health data by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting shows.

The average number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in these for-profit homes? Four in 10 residents.

One possible factor: 80% of Mississippi’s nursing homes had already been cited for infection-control problems before the pandemic hit.

Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus at the University of California at San Francisco who discovered similar results in a just-released study of nursing homes in California, said the current pandemic is exposing problems that have persisted for decades. “We’ve just looked the other way for 30 years,” she said.

OSHA has been investigating three nursing homes in Mississippi, all of them for-profit, for workplace catastrophes or fatalities, including Lakeside Health & Rehabilitation Center in Quitman. One of the home’s nursing assistants, Carole Faye Doby of Stonewall, died of COVID May 15, and two residents also died of the disease.

A week or more before she contracted the coronavirus, Doby warned her family that “things were getting bad at the nursing home, and that we didn’t need to come around,” recalled her daughter, Shenika Jackson of Clinton.

She said her mother shared that a fellow worker and a resident (who later died) had both come down with the disease.

On May 6, Doby was tested for COVID. Days later, they saw her on Mother’s Day, Jackson said. “We did see her on Sunday, Mother’s Day. We sat outside the porch and ate lunch. She was inside the window.”

By May 11, her mother still didn’t have results and continued to get sicker so she saw a doctor, who had her rushed to the hospital by ambulance, Jackson said.

Because of COVID, she couldn’t visit with her

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