Q: What are you most concerned about with the 2020 flu season?

A:If the American public fully embraces the mitigation strategies that we continue to advocate [social distancing, mask wearing and handwashing] … we’ll have a very mild flu season. Or we could end up with two serious pathogens coming through at the same time and, as a consequence, have a very difficult time in terms of our response.

Q: What can long-term care operators do specifically on the flu front? 

A:I need healthcare workers … to embrace the flu vaccine. 

Q: How can operators improve the flu vaccination rate in facilities?

A:Make it a requirement, like it had been made for me to work in my hospital when I practiced medicine.

Q: How is the National Healthcare Safety Network using nursing home data to fight COVID-19?

A:It’s a very important tool for us to understand the extent of COVID. It’s also a tool that we can use to begin to have real-time data on the parameters of COVID infection within long-term care facilities, particularly as new therapies are developed, which may have unique benefits under specific circumstances of COVID infection.