After Connecticut saw double the number of nursing home deaths in its reporting last week, Thursday there was hope from the state's COVID-19 nursing home recovery centers.
“I think that's a success all around it should be celebrated,” Mairead Painter, the state’s long-term care ombudsman said.
On Thursday the Department of Public Health said out of the 176 nursing home residents admitted to the state's recovery centers, five of them, now recovered, are back in their original nursing homes.
“Once they go back to the home of origin they would be in an area of quarantine for 14 days,” Painter said.
The news comes after the state reported a total of 768 nursing home deaths and more than 3,400 cases in nursing homes last Friday.
Connecticut opened the four nursing home recovery centers to ease the load at the state’s hospitals. Each patient must have two negative COVID-19 tests before they are released, which Department of Public Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell said is working.
“Our goal has always been from the very moment that we put this nursing home surge plan in play was that we would be able to say the individuals are being returned back to their nursing home of residence,” Coleman-Mitchell said.
More recovery centers are expected to open in the coming days, including Westfield Care and Rehab, which is set to take its first patient Friday morning.
“They are essentially in the recovery phase, they have physical weakness some respiratory medication that we have to do,” Dr. Anuruddha Walaliyadda, medical director of Westfield Care and Rehab said.
DPH said they're now training nursing home staff members on properly wear Tyvek full body protective suits along with ramping up virtual infection control training.
“Four times a day we're going to expand that next week to probably eight to 10 times a day,” Barbara Cass, chief of the Healthcare Quality & Safety Branch of DPH said.
Each nursing home decides when and where its resident will go after the 14-day quarantine. The recovery centers are only taking 10 new patients a day.