Facility practices ranked well overall

Late Friday afternoon, the state of Maryland sent an Assist and Assess “Go Team” to Cumberland Healthcare Center (CHC) to assess the situation at the facility as a result of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and offer assistance to support the work being done to limit the spread of illness.

The state team had many positive things to say about the mitigation practices at CHC and was also able to offer some guidance for improvements, based on their experience with similar outbreaks.

“The National Guard team noted that Cumberland Healthcare Center was actively and effectively implementing strategies advised by the CDC for their long-term care nursing facilities,” stated Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Allegany and Garrett Counties.  “Administration and nursing leadership are working together and collaborating with the health department and UPMC Western Maryland on testing and personal protective equipment (PPE).”

Following the assessment on Friday, additional plans were initiated to supplement CHC’s PPE resources and expand capabilities for testing staff and residents of CHC.

“CHC has been very proactive in their response to this disease.  They are to be commended.  The health department, hospital, and emergency services are here to support their efforts and collaborate as needed,” Dr. Corder added.

Allegany County Department of Emergency Services Director James Pyles, who along with Dr. Corder was on-site with the state team at CHC, credits the swift and well-organized response to the COVID-19 outbreak to the longstanding partnerships and coordination between responding agencies, including long-term care providers like CHC, the health department, the hospital, and emergency services.

“The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services and our allied agencies including the Allegany County Health Department and UPMC-Western Maryland have been working closely together since before the first confirmed case [of COVID-19] on March 23,” said Pyles.  He went on to say that partner agencies are in daily communication about the crisis and Allegany County’s coordinated response.

“This crisis, like nothing I have ever witnessed or been in a position of management has truly opened my eyes to the incredible teamwork we have in this county between the agencies,” said Pyles.  “Each agency is familiar with their tasks, quick to respond and eager to help their fellow citizen.”