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TX Paramedics Receive Grant to Assess COVID-19 Risk at Long-Term Care Facilities

Williamson County community health paramedics will assess infection control and responses

Claire Osborn, Austin American-Statesman

(TNS)

The Williamson County Commissioners Court has approved an agreement with the county’s health district to allow county paramedics to conduct coronavirus assessments and education at long-term care facilities

The assessment will be done with a $47,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials, according to a county press release.

Under Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders, all of these facilities have recently been allowed to have visitors inside, the release said.

“We put these residents at an emotional risk in not letting them see their families, but opening these facilities to visitors puts them at risk for COVID-19 if not handled correctly,” said Amy Jarosek, senior lead of the paramedic team, in the release. “Now is the perfect time for us to support these facilities as they work to keep their residents safe and healthy while reopening.”

The county’s community health paramedics will assess infection control and responses in at least 40 nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the release said

It said they will also develop materials, including checklists, trainings and handouts to help implement federal guidance on emerging threats, including COVID-19, at these facilities.

The county’s community health paramedics will also train volunteeers with the Williamson County and Cities Health District Medical Reserve Corps to conduct assessments by phone or video, the release said.

The paramedics have developed an electronic tool that can perform the assessments.

The grant ends on July 31, 2021.

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