Coronavirus

Students say coronavirus outbreaks ‘inevitable’ in small halls with shared bathrooms

Students who became infected with coronavirus after starting university say an outbreak in their accommodation was ‘inevitable’.

It comes as an expert has warned the UK government could be forced to tell university students to remain on campuses during the Christmas break,

Authorities are worried about the risk of spreading Covid-19 into students’ local communities when they return home.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has not ruled out the possibility that university students would have to stay away from home over Christmas if major outbreaks continue on campuses.



a person standing next to a fence: NHS staff hand out test kits to Glasgow University students


© PA
NHS staff hand out test kits to Glasgow University students

Outbreaks in university accommodation in Scotland have prompted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s government to take emergency action.

Students in Scotland are quarantining in their dormitories and being told not to go to the pubs this weekend, following outbreaks affecting hundreds of students.

One student said she has now been isolating for nearly a month, having been placed in an initial 14-day quarantine on arrival from California.

The teenager and three other people in her eight-person flat in Glasgow University’s Murano Street Student Village have now tested positive for Covid-19.

The complex is the university’s largest halls of residence and can house 1,175 students



a woman talking on a cell phone: A student from the University of Glasgow administers a self-test


© AFP via Getty Images
A student from the University of Glasgow administers a self-test

The 18-year-old, who is studying international relations and sociology, said she is having to wash her clothes in the sink as the laundry is outside the flat.

The residents of the flat had already been isolating for five days when she received her positive test result on Friday morning.

She said: “With this many kids in this small an area, it was bound to happen.

“We have it, so the negative people are cooking. They will drop off food outside our doors.

“It’s

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Life inside senior care homes, after the coronavirus crucible

In the rooms, halls, and gathering spots of the Commonwealth’s senior care sites, the coronavirus took a particularly insidious hold in the spring and early summer. Rogerson House in Jamaica Plain had the state’s first known senior care fatality. At St. Chretienne Retirement Residence in Marlborough, 22 of 31 nuns contracted the coronavirus. Sickness spread and the residents were isolated from friends and family. Since those dark days, staff members have adjusted even the most basic of routines. Today, the way of life for residents has been transformed.

 Sisters Gloria Cote, 92, (left) and Jeanne Fregeau, 93, shared a laugh on the porch at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence. Both fell ill to COVID-19 during the April outbreak. Cote said, "I wasn't as sick as she was."  Fregeau said, " When I realized what it was I was afraid to die. Then I thought, 'the Lord will come and get me.' I worried about what would happen to Gloria. But I guess it wasn't time because he didn't come get me.''
Sisters Gloria Cote, 92, (left) and Jeanne Fregeau, 93, shared a laugh on the porch at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence. Both fell ill to COVID-19 during the April outbreak. Cote said, “I wasn’t as sick as she was.” Fregeau said, ” When I realized what it was I was afraid to die. Then I thought, ‘the Lord will come and get me.’ I worried about what would happen to Gloria. But I guess it wasn’t time because he didn’t come get me.”Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Sisters Fregeau (left) and Cote have been friends for 72 years.
Sisters Fregeau (left) and Cote have been friends for 72 years. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Sister Jeanne D'arc Poirier prepared for lunch at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence.
Sister Jeanne D’arc Poirier prepared for lunch at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Resident George Brackett, 77, had his temperature checked by Stephanie Dupervil, a licensed practical nurse, in his room at Rogerson House in Jamaica Plain. Residents now have their temperature checked twice a day.
Resident George Brackett, 77, had his temperature checked by Stephanie Dupervil, a licensed practical nurse, in his room at Rogerson House in Jamaica Plain. Residents now have their temperature checked twice a day. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Sister Bernadetta Haviland wrote a thank you note in her room at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence. Haviland said she was one of the few residents who did not fall ill during the outbreak. "Thanks be to God. We've just been following the rules, we wash our hands, we stay apart and we wear masks," she said. The residents who were not infected pitched in to help the staff serve meals, wash sheets, and collect trash during the height of the crisis.
Sister Bernadetta Haviland wrote a thank you note in her room at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence. Haviland said she was one of the few residents who did not fall ill during the outbreak. “Thanks be to God. We’ve just been following the rules, we wash our hands, we stay apart and we wear masks,” she said. The
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Nursing homes in Washington state struggled with adequate staffing for years. Then coronavirus struck.

In early March, state inspectors entered a sprawling nursing home in the rural southeast corner of King County where concerns over thin staffing were mounting just as COVID-19 began to spread across the state.

One resident inside the Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center said she hadn’t been bathed for nearly three weeks after she first arrived, according to inspection records. Another described waiting roughly 15 minutes for help after her roommate fell on the floor, while others told of even longer waits for help, lasting 45 minutes or more.

“Sometimes there are so few people in the building,” the resident told inspectors, “if there were an emergency, it would be a calamity.”

Within weeks, coronavirus entered the nursing home, and workers scrambled to help ailing residents, as some got sick themselves. In all, the outbreak killed 26 people, according to the state.

As COVID-19 devastated nursing homes across the state, long-standing staffing woes created a perfect storm at many facilities at a time when workers were needed most. Even though inspectors had routinely found appalling instances of time-strapped staff and patient suffering over the years, Washington state hadn’t raised its standard for adequate staffing.

A Seattle Times analysis found that inspectors cited 118, or more than half, of the state’s skilled nursing facilities a total of 225 times for having insufficient or unqualified staff, according to federal data from 2018 through the start of the pandemic. The state rarely penalized nursing homes for these deficiencies, according to an analysis of thousands of pages of enforcement documents.

Times Watchdog reporting digs deep to expose wrongdoing and hold powerful interests accountable to the public. Support watchdog journalism with a tax-deductible donation to The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund.

In dozens of interviews and a review of inspection reports, workers described poor wages

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MITRE Issues Independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes Final Report

MCLEAN, Va. & BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MITRE announced that its report on the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, delivered to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 1, 2020, is now available online.

The 186-page report contains 27 principal recommendations, and over 100 accompanying action steps organized into 10 themes: Testing and Screening; Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Cohorting; Visitation; Communication; Workforce Ecosystem – Stopgaps for Resident Safety; Workforce Ecosystem – Strategic Reinforcement; Technical Assistance and Quality Improvement; Facilities; and Nursing Home Data.

“I want to thank the 25 commission members – from infection control experts to nursing leaders to a nursing home resident – for candidly sharing learnings and carefully shaping recommendations that have the potential to improve safety and quality of life in nursing homes immediately,” said Dr. Jay Schnitzer, chief medical and technology officer at MITRE, and moderator of the commission. “Members wrestled with challenging, sometimes competing, issues such as weighing infection control practices against psychosocial needs of residents. These complex issues do not have easy solutions, which made the diverse experience and insights of members integral to developing the recommendations and actions endorsed in the final report.”

CMS announced the formation of the commission on April 30, selecting MITRE to convene, manage, and facilitate its activities, including independently authoring and delivering a report on the commission’s findings and recommendations to the agency, in support of four objectives:

  • Identify best practices for facilities to enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in nursing homes
  • Recommend best practices as exemplars of rigorous infection control practices and facility resiliency that can serve as a framework for enhanced oversight and quality monitoring activities
  • Endeavor to identify best practices for improved
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