The breath of fresh air in nursing homes or no deaths was recorded for fifteen days

In a Toulouse nursing home, during a health crisis (illustration). – Fred Scheiber / SIPA

  • While the epidemic has started to rise again in recent days in Haute-Garonne, nursing homes are finally seeing the effect of vaccination.
  • Of the 135 nursing homes in the department, only 67 residents are positive when this figure has risen to 1,000 simultaneously.
  • Today, 85% of residents are vaccinated and these establishments are starting to reopen their doors, with the positive effect of boosting the morale of the elderly.

If hospitalizations saw a sharp increase during the Easter weekend in Toulouse, in the nursing homes of the department, the coronavirus epidemic finally seems under control. While in mid-February some of them had more than 50% of their residents positive for Covid-19, at the beginning of April, only 7 of the 135 nursing homes for the elderly in Haute-Garonne still had a cluster.

“This represents 62 patients today when at one time we had up to 1,000 positive at the same time”, notes Helen Villars, geriatrician at Toulouse University Hospital who coordinates the Covid-19 unit in retirement homes.

A marked improvement which resulted in two weeks without death in these nursing homes during the last month. “This is an unprecedented situation that shows the impact of vaccination. 85% of residents are now vaccinated and a system has been put in place to ensure that new entrants are also vaccinated, ”continues the specialist, whose mobile vaccination teams now travel to independent residences.

Only four residents who received at least one dose died. Very old patients, on whom the vaccine response would have been very weak.

Return of morale

If the staff of these structures are also increasingly vaccinated, it still happens that some of their members are vectors of the virus. Especially since they are faced with a high turnover in these structures regularly suffering from shortages in their workforce.

In the meantime, the downward trend remains good news for nursing homes, quick to allow families to be able to return to see their loved ones. “Morale has returned for a month, there is a very real well-being, we can feel it”, concludes Hélène Villars.

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