HEALTH

Virginia will move into the next phase of its gradual reopening plan on July 1, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.Phase 3, which significantly lifts many of the restrictions set in place at the beginning of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic, has been eagerly anticipated since Northam outlined new guidelines last...
Until Friday morning, even leaders in the long-term care industry had no idea the state was about to reverse course on releasing the names of nursing homes and assisted living facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks. The sudden move came after months of the Virginia Department of Health insisting that state law...
After months of resistance, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that the Virginia Department of Health would begin releasing facility-specific information on COVID-19 outbreaks within long-term care facilities.The initial data shows that a total 178 long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living centers, and campuses with multiple levels of...
A recent study from researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University suggests that mask-wearing policies can dramatically reduce per-capita death rates from COVID-19, based on an analysis of nearly 200 different countries.The article is currently in pre-print, meaning it hasn’t gone through the peer-review process that’s considered standard for published academic...
Amy Fernandez considers her grandmother, 92-year-old Dolores Wilson, lucky. A “tough lady” from a tight-knit Italian family, Wilson has a window room at Manassas Health & Rehab Center, where her relatives still visit multiple times a week, Fernandez said. The nursing home is closed to visitors, but Wilson’s children, grandchildren...
With in-person therapy limited, mental health care providers struggle to reach vulnerable patients  By Julia Raimondi and Riley Blake Austin Sweigart was discharged from inpatient treatment at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center’s psychiatric ward in mid-March, days before the statewide stay-at-home order took effect.Sweigart, a 29-year-old event planner and gay rights...
The data was hotly anticipated.But less than 24 hours after the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the names of nursing homes with COVID-19 cases, it became clear there were problems. Case numbers for Virginia showed a sharp discrepancy with data from the state’s Department of Health. The...
The key to reopening Virginia’s 287 nursing homes lies in dramatically expanded testing for residents and staff, based on recent recommendations from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The lingering question is who’s on the hook for the cost. In the roughly two weeks since CMS released its guidelines...
In the weeks since Virginia’s hospitals have reopened for non-life-threatening procedures, many have implemented wider COVID-19 testing protocols to protect patients and staff from the virus.In some cases, the results have been illuminating. In a Thursday call with the Virginia Nurses Association, Melody Dickerson, the senior vice president and...
At first, it seemed like a promising lead.In late March, the Virginia Department of Health — a key player in the state’s unified command team responding to the COVID-19 pandemic — reached out to the U.S. Navy, which operates its largest base in Norfolk.Bob Mauskapf, the director of VDH’s...