Protecting the Most Fragile: Nursing Homes and COVID-19

Posted July 1, 2020

By Randi Minetor, article originally featured in

Of all the fronts in upstate New York’s battle against novel coronavirus COVID-19, nursing home are among the hardest to defend. A virus that may arrive in an asymptomatic staff member or visitor can have devastating consequences for the elderly people who live there.

“Many residents that live in nursing home have advanced disease; they are frail, or they wouldn’t be living with us,” said Brian Heppard, MD, CMD, who leads the medical team at Episcopal Senior Life through is private practice, Pillar Medical Associates. “The virus is very stealthy. People without fever or any symptoms can spread it. These things become even more important in a nursing home setting. Once it gets in, it’s very difficult to keep it from spreading.”

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