West Virginia Healthcare Association says outbreaks at nursing homes linked to community spread

WEST VIRGINIA, WV (WOAY) – It’s been nearly a week since the state adopted the color-coded approach to nursing home visitation. 

The color system indicates which counties have increased community spread, and nursing homes will have different guidelines depending on the severity.

The West Virginia Healthcare Association worked with the state to develop these guidelines, and their CEO Marty Wright says that community spread is one of the biggest factors in the recent outbreaks at nursing homes. 

“A common denominator of outbreaks, coupled with some testing lags, really is turning into a recipe for the increased outbreaks. So what we have found and been able to track nationally and locally is as a community starts experiencing more community spread, there’s a greater chance of that getting into a nursing home through the asymptomatic spread,” Wright said. 

As of now, most counties in southern West Virginia are either in the green or yellow zone, which means nursing home visitation is allowed with some precautions. But individual homes can still enact their own rules and precautions.