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Surveys: Zero deficiencies at Effingham Care and Rehabilitation Center

 SPRINGFIELD — The nursing home affiliated with Effingham Health System (EHS) received glowing marks during a pair of recent on-site surveys of its COVID-19 protocols.

On Aug. 18, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found Effingham Care & Rehabilitation Center in compliance with all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines during an unannounced COVID-19 Infection Control Survey. “Zero deficiencies” were discovered.

In early July, an unannounced Department of Public Health (DPH) COVID-19 Infection Survey resulted in similar findings.

COVID-19 safety is paramount in nursing homes because of their congregate nature and the residents they serve. Elderly people with chronic medical conditions are at a high risk of being affected by the ailment. A strong infection prevention program is also vital to protecting healthcare personnel.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMS and DPH have supplemented CDC guidelines to bolster protection in nursing homes.

 In a statement emailed to the Herald on Friday, Effingham Health System said, “Of course the steps taken over the past six months have been extensive. EHS has strictly followed the CDC Guidelines for U.S. Healthcare Facilities about Coronavirus (COVID-19), including any updates they have implemented along the way.”

According to the DPH’s Aug. 21 Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 report, 23 of the care center’s 82 residents are COVID-19 positive and six previous ones died from the disease. Eight residents have recovered from it, the reports says.

In addition, according to the report, 31 care center staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days.

According to the CDC, for most people with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.