Nursing home quarantines residents

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 7, 2008

A Brookhaven nursing home has voluntarily placed its facilitiesunder quarantine due to an upper respiratory concern of a smallgroup of residents, according the the home administrator.

Silver Cross Home Administrator Gussie Ashley confirmed todaythat seven residents had been isolated due to upper respiratorycoughing and that the entire facility has now been locked down,with only a limited number family members allowed entry.

Ashley did reiterate, however, that the facility-wide quarantinewas for the health of the patients within, not the health of thegeneral public.

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“We don’t want our patients to catch anything else from theoutside,” Ashley said. “Our patients are doing much better, but thequarantine is still on.”

Ashley said policy mandates that the quarantine last for atleast 10 days after the last patient showed symptoms. She saidanother patient came down with the cough yesterday, so as long asno other patients develop a cough, the quarantine will remain ineffect until at least sometime next week.

Liz Sharlot, the director of communications for the MississippiState Department of Health, said the Silver Cross quarantine was anindependent act.

“The state department of health has not issued any isolation orquarantine to any facility in the state of Mississippi,” she said.”Certainly, it is very common, and a good idea, for health carefacilities such as nursing homes to isolate residents with similarsymptoms to keep down spread, but the decision is up to thediscretion of the director.”

Sharlot said the Mississippi State Department of Health would bechecking into the Silver Cross quarantine, “as (it) always doeswhen a large number of patients show the same symptoms.”