Workers set up quarantine trailers to temporarily house people with COVID-19 on March 31, 2020. Reno Gazette Journal
Update Sunday 10:20 a.m.: Responding to a call for help from Councilwoman Naomi Duerr for Lakeside Health and Wellness, Reno Fire Department and REMSA will be donating masks Saturday to the facility in the grips of a coronavirus outbreak.
Duerr asked for help after reading a Reno Gazette Journal story about the nursing home’s directive to staff to wear surgical masks a second day by turning them inside out.
Duerr said both REMSA and Reno Fire Station 3 on Moana Lane will be digging into their own limited supply of masks to help the residents and health care workers at the assisted-living facility.
“We just all assume we all have to pitch in together,” Duerr said. “Nobody wants another person to die.”
Reno home builder Bob Lissner also donated about 35 homemade masks late Friday night, according to a tweet from Duerr.
A third person has died from the coronavirus outbreak at Lakeside Health and Wellness in Reno, according to new statistics obtained by the Reno Gazette Journal.
Three patients and three staff members have tested positive at the Reno nursing home. The 189-bed facility is under investigation by state health officials.
According to the new statewide statistics, 14 people have died and 143 people have tested positive in residential treatment centers and correctional facilities in Nevada.
The statistics also show the outbreak at Willow Springs residential treatment center for children has grown to include 25 children and 17 staff members.
Concerned about reports that Lakeside Health and Wellness had directed staff to reuse surgical masks by turning them inside out on the second day, Councilwoman Naomi Duerr has asked local health officials to find ways to provide the facility with masks.
In emails obtained by the Reno Gazette Journal, Duerr asked Washoe Health District Officer Kevin DIck if the Emergency Operations Center could provide masks to Lakeside.
“Perhaps mask resources from the EOC could be deployed to this center as a stop-gap measure while other solutions are evaluated,” Duerr wrote.
Dick responded by forwarding the email to state health officials.
“Can you please confirm based on the State’s investigation at the facility that this practice of turning the mask inside out is no longer occurring (if it was), and that they have proper PPE practices in place,” Dick wrote.
While the CDC’s guidance allows health care facilities to reuse masks in emergency situations, it is clear that the outside surface of the mask should not be touched or come into contact with any other surface.
Duerr said late Friday she has yet to hear back about whether the Emergency Operations Center will be able to provide masks to the facility.
“I was concerned if this was the protocol for the past 10 days or more,” Duerr said of the facility’s directions on how to reuse masks. “We can’t allow it to continue even one more day.”
Anjeanette Damon is the government watchdog reporter for the RGJ. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @AnjeanetteDamon. If you care about shining a bright light on decisions made by your elected officials, please consider subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal.
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