covid-19 in nursing homes

COVID-19 Cases in Connecticut Nursing Homes Are Rising

Nursing home administrators are urging visitors to be vigilant to help stop the spread in the community, and specifically in their homes of residents who are part of a vulnerable population.

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As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Connecticut, cases are growing in nursing homes, too.

According to COVID-19 case numbers reported to the state, for the two-week period from March 30 to April 12, just 85 nursing home residents had the virus.

From April 27 to March 10, numbers jumped dramatically: 478 resident cases were reported.

The latest data from the state shows that from the week of May 12 through 18, there were 256 reported cases.

The Department of Public Health’s Director of Communications Christopher Boyle sent us this statement in regards to the uptick in cases:

“While the number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes is increasing with this latest sub-variant of omicron, there are relatively few deaths when compared to upticks that the state has experienced in the past.

This is due in large part to the high COVID-19 vaccination and booster rates among nursing home staff and residents, as well as the availability of self-test kits and therapeutics."

The state DPH has a two-pronged approach to protecting all those being cared for and those working in nursing homes, including:

  • Providing support and guidance to incorporate best practices with infection control and prevention.
  • Taking swift regulatory action on any nursing home complaints and violations.

“We've had recently three staff test positive, we've had one resident test positive, so that in each case, it's been about a week apart, it's been pretty well contained. Thank God,” said Bill While, the president and administrator of Beechwood in New London.

White took to Facebook after that resident tested positive, writing to potential visitors: “We cannot stress enough the importance of being cautious in your personal lives. When you visit Beechwood, your lives intersect with those of our residents and our staff.”

“You can be a visitor, be safe, still see your loved one and accomplish all. You know, they can all still be done safe,” he said Tuesday, stressing vigilance and personal responsibility of visitors.

In the past couple of months, only two employees at Mary Wade in New Haven have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our concern is the same as it has been consistently for the last two or three years,” said David Hunter, president and CEO of Mary Wade and Chatham Place at Mary Wade.

He said that the addition of knowledge, skills and equipment has made a huge impact since the early days of the pandemic. Plus they’ve made other updates, too.

“Our building is much safer than it was before COVID. We did install a number of mechanical equipment that makes the air quality cleaner and less infectious…we feel confident but we’re not overconfident," Hunter said.

The Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities/Connecticut Center for Assisted Living represents 150 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities around the state flags an additional concern as cases rise in the community: the shortage of workers at these facilities.

"The potential that our hospital systems could be overwhelmed and our nursing homes not available are able to take additional discharges from hospitals is the big picture concern," President Matthew Barrett said.

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