‘It will not be back to what it was’: Waiting for reopening guidance, medical, elder facilities maintain strict precautions | TheUnion.com
YOUR AD HERE »

‘It will not be back to what it was’: Waiting for reopening guidance, medical, elder facilities maintain strict precautions

Sam Corey
Staff Writer
Operators at Chapa-De Indian Health clinic in Grass Valley have begun to discuss what precautions will need to be taken to conduct business in the time of coronavirus.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

As fear of the novel coronavirus’ spread continues, many wonder what it will take for Nevada County to move through a cautious, phased approach toward normalcy.

And while those within organizations that offer health care, elder care and hospice care are pondering the same concern, some are already considering precautions for once transitions begin.

Mostly, local organizations are awaiting more data about COVID-19 cases produced by enhanced testing, and further guidelines from Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health departments before making any decisions about future practices and precautions.

“Hospice is really wanting to follow the guidelines and be a lot more strict,” said Akhila Murphy, a death doula, hospice volunteer and co-founder of Nevada County’s Full Circle of Living & Dying.

Support Local Journalism


While hospice is cautiously considering allowing 10 people to share their grief in the same space, while maintaining physical distancing and deep hygienic practices, the activity will likely not be normal in the pre-pandemic sense of the term.

“It will not be back to what it was,” said Murphy, adding, “It doesn’t seem like things will get back to normal this year.”

Grass Valley medical clinic Yubadocs has been taking precautions set by the Centers for Disease Control and public health departments as they test residents for the novel coronavirus. Even as things begin to open up in the coming weeks and months, clinic owner Dr. Roger Hicks said some things won’t change.

“Everyone in the clinic wears masks throughout the work day,” he said. “I don’t think we will change any of that.”

WAITING ON Vaccine

While the county and state have effectively flattened the curve, Hicks said meaningful pushes toward normalcy are probably about six months away, as more people are likely to be infected, albeit over a longer period of time — which is the goal of physical distancing. The most profound social changes, he said, will come from a widely distributed vaccine.

“The same number of people may get infected, but it’s not going to overwhelm the health care system,” he said. “If there’s a vaccine, that will change everything.”

Grass Valley’s Chapa-De Indian Health clinic CEO Lisa Davies agreed.

“I think until there’s a vaccine or until there’s significantly robust testing, this will be normal,” she said.

Chapa-De has started talks on what precautions need to be taken in the following phases, but doesn’t yet know the guidelines that will be set by state and national health agencies.

Precautions for the Western Sierra Medical Clinic include screening people as they enter its building, asking them questions about symptoms they may have and taking their temperatures. The clinic has separated the sick patients from the well, and provided a separate entrance for pregnant patients, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christina Lasich. Lasich doesn’t yet know what future precautions will be taken at her clinic, but she said testing in the area will soon increase significantly as a new testing facility will be placed in Grass Valley.

Some agencies, like the senior living facility Eskaton Village, have not begun discussion on what reopening will look like, according to Chief Operating Officer Betsy Donovan. The facility is among the most cautious, even as people begin to hypothesize future situations, as its residents are at a high risk of dying from the disease (SARS-CoV-2) caused by the virus, said Donovan.

“We don’t have groups at all, we don’t have close gatherings,” she said. “There’s not a lot of discussion at this point of lowering those restrictions. Senior living is probably going to be one of the last things that opens up or lifts visitation restrictions.”

LASTING CHANGES?

Medical clinic officials say they don’t know how much the pandemic will change society in coming months and years, but many believe telemedicine will become commonplace. In order to strengthen that possibility, Hicks said he hopes broadband is expanded to more rural areas to ameliorate connectivity problems.

He also hopes that more people place their trust in science, which has been “severely threatened recently under the current administration.”

“It’s shocking to me that science has become a partisan issue,” said Hicks. “The virus doesn’t know any politics, it doesn’t fear a Republican or a Democrat.”

Lisa Davies and Dr. Christina Lasich both believe telemedicine will be here to stay.

“I think we are going to see a new normal in medicine and the world,” said Lasich, noting that telemedicine will help physicians and patients reduce the risk of infecting other people, thus preventing the spread of disease in the future.

Akhila Murphy, who said she sometimes feels awkward without donning a mask these days, said people assisting with end-of-life care may begin taking more precautions that don’t fade with time. She said masks and hand sanitizer will likely become more widely available around such spaces.

“I just have a feeling that this awareness is going to change things,” said Murphy.

MORE IN THIS SERIES

‘The best they could’: Nevada County Superintendent of Schools reflects on the school year, ponders what’s to come this fall

‘These kids want to ball’: Youth sports organizations grapple with tough decisions regarding COVID-19 safety

Hamstrung: Nevada County summer sports scene hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

Nevada County theaters go dark for the year

Movie theaters struggle to cover rent, utilities in an industry that typically operates with narrow profit margin

‘Planning for all of it’: Nevada City Film Festival moves online for this year’s event

Nevada County’s music festivals look to virtual events to build community, recoup finances

For Nevada County musicians, the show goes online

Nevada County artists adapt, host online galleries, concerts and workshops

Street fair cancellations in Nevada City, Grass Valley a huge economic hit

‘We are the recovery; we are essential’: Nevada County Arts Council survey reveals artists, art organizations are struggling

Who’s zooming whom? Creativity among Nevada County artists in the pandemic era

Nevada County Arts Council receives $112K Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education grant for new project

Nevada County nonprofit funding in jeopardy

Nonprofits struggle to serve clients during pandemic shutdown

Nevada County animal rescue groups see surge in fosters, adoptions

Nevada County’s thrift stores move ahead with reopening

Possible postponement, cancellation of Nevada County Fair would negatively impact several Nevada County nonprofits

Local nonprofits feeling the effect of canceled, postponed fundraising events due to COVID-19

Feeding Nevada County: Effort to help those hungry bolstered by partnerships between nonprofits (VIDEO)

Nevada County youth organizations adjust to public health requirements

Volunteer work faces changes at Nevada County nonprofits amid restrictions

‘Do you have reserves?’ Still much uncertainty over how nonprofits will fare in coming months, years

Government business continues in isolation during COVID-19 pandemic

Nevada County, cities collaborate to reopen safely

Wildfire prep in Nevada County continues virtually during pandemic

‘This is why we signed up’: Librarian, homeless shelter manager continue working during pandemic

Financial aid offers much-needed relief in western Nevada County for those who can get it

Grass Valley trims staff in response to COVID-19 shutdown

Nevada County: Staffing, service reductions not yet needed

Nevada County property tax on par despite pandemic

Nevada County health workers say they currently have sufficient supply of personal protective equipment

Hospice of the Foothills continues providing end-of-life care during COVID-19 crisis

Senior care facilities on lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic

Residents of Nevada County senior living communities staying connected

‘Continue to plan and prepare’: Hospital analyzes finances, anticipates federal funding to ensure financial stability

Nurses in Nevada County and the region talk about why they love their jobs

Nevada County not planning to release more detailed COVID-19 case data

Officials: Testing is key in calls to reopen in Nevada County, across California

Nevada County doctors change approach to providing care due to COVID-19

The trifecta: Public health experts recommend testing, contact tracing and supported isolation to phase into a reopened world

Investigating the impact: Lack of revenue, uncertain return date causes concern for arts and entertainment venues

Impacts of Idaho-Maryland mine to be revealed soon

Nevada County artists discuss how COVID-19 shutdown has affected them

‘The arts are essential’: Center for the Arts launches emergency relief fund

Real estate sales strong in Nevada County despite challenges

No slowdown seen in Nevada County construction industry despite COVID-19 lockdown

Nevada County government, home improvement and real estate representatives talk business during COVID-19

‘I’d like to place an order’: In light of COVID-19, the demand for home delivery services in Nevada County is at an all-time high

Grass Valley, Nevada City first to feel COVID-19 economic hit

See you soon? Small business owners struggle, but are hopeful for a brighter tomorrow in Nevada County

Nevada County businesses struggle navigating economic relief

Nevada County health care providers pivot on financial tight rope

‘A sudden and dramatic downturn’: Nevada County economy will be hurt for longtime following coronavirus slowdown, expert says

‘A recession, let alone a depression’: Western Nevada County businesses apply for federal loans, but most have yet to receive money

Nevada County businesses, governments, nonprofits navigate uncertain times, worry what’s ahead

RELATED RESOURCES

http://www.TheUnion.com/coronavirus

http://www.MyNevadaCounty.com/coronavirus

Coronavirus Guidance for Businesses/Employers

Nevada County Relief Fund for Covid-19

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User