​Providers have been dealing with COVID-19 in their facilities and communities for nearly a year now. At the beginning of the vaccination phase of the pandemic, Contributing Editor Joanne Kaldy asked providers where things stand right now in terms of infection prevention and communication efforts.

In the first article, “Infection Control Lessons Learned,” clinicians reported on new policies implemented, such as patient isolation and enhanced disinfection procedures. And while the infection preventionist has been a godsend, it quickly became clear that everyone in the facility, including families, needed to learn about and be involved in practicing safety measures. Page 2.

The next topic, “Communication’s Role in the Pandemic,” shows that the amount of information available has been a blessing and a curse. While invaluable facts about the disease have surfaced, so have misinformed theories and opinions, making it necessary for leaders to continually educate staff and families using clinical evidence and solid information about COVID and infection prevention and control issues. Page 10.

In the final article, providers offer five positives that have come out of the horror of the pandemic, including a new understanding on the part of regulators, legislators, and the public at large of the key role long term care plays in the health care continuum. Page 16.