Nursing homes have emerged as a focus of heightened concern for increased coronavirus cases amid the global pandemic.In Washington state, for example, least 30 of the more than 50 deaths have been linked to one nursing home. Most of those who died from COVID-19 were residents.Now, many nursing homes risk running out of protective masks and gowns by next week because of the coronavirus, an industry group warned Wednesday, and at least one facility already had to resort to using plastic garbage bags to make gowns.“We really need to take drastic action to conserve masks and gowns going forward,” said Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer at the American Health Care Association, one of the main trade groups representing the nation’s 15,600 nursing homes.The industry group is calling on its members to stretch the use of personal protective equipment and asking other health care facilities such as dental offices to consider providing any unneeded supplies to nursing homes.The federal government seconded the conservation effort Wednesday. Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, recommended that doctors, dentists and hospitals postpone nonessential procedures to preserve supplies. That would not only help nursing homes but also hospitals preparing for an increased number of coronavirus cases.Verma

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