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DMHAS reports first coronavirus-related patient death at psychiatric facility in CT


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) reported their first in-patient COVID-19 death in a psychiatric hospital Thursday.

DMHAS reports the death occurred at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, one of the state’s inpatient psychiatric facilities. As of Thursday, the facility has 41 confirmed coronavirus cases among patients, and 26 confirmed cases among staff.

Since the pandemic began, CVH has had nine patients recover from the virus. Additionally, 22 staff members across eight facilities have recovered and returned to work.

According to DMHAS, the individual who died “had been transferred to an acute care hospital where they died [Wednesday] after a brief hospitalization.”

Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said of the death, “Sadly, we are not immune to the devastation of coronavirus. The family and health care providers of this patient are in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with the devastating loss of their loved one. We will provide support to the family in any way possible”.

DMHAS reports they operate over 760 mental health and substance use beds and employs approximately 3,300 staff throughout the state-operated service system.

DMHAS says they are taking significant steps to protect clients and staff from COVID-19 throughout their inpatient units. These include:

  • Utilizing spaces in all state-operated facilities to be used for the isolation of patients with
  • Distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) including n95 masks, surgical masks, gowns,
    gloves and hand sanitizer to all state-operated facilities;
  • Using quarantine and isolation protocols for patients and staff that have been reviewed and
    approved by the Department of Public Health;
  • Restricting visitors from DMHAS facilities;
  • Conducting health screenings of all individuals who enter DMHAS facilities, including staff and
  • Directing staff who are symptomatic or have been in close contact with individuals suspected of or having COVID-19 to stay home and self-quarantine to prevent infecting clients and other
  • Briefly suspending admissions in DMHAS inpatient services where community providers have
    capacity to absorb patents;
  • Temporarily reducing bed capacities in certain units across the system in order to maintain
    proper social distancing requirements;
  • Re-allocating critical staff in order to expand our capacity to isolate COVID patients
  • Continuing planning to accommodate COVID-19 surge; and,
  • Continuing use of acute care general hospital settings to provide care for patients with serious medical conditions.

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