WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The financial toll of the pandemic is hitting nursing homes across Connecticut.
“This is causing really an unprecedented interruption in revenue during the pandemic,” said Matthew Barrett, CEO of the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Facilities. “It’s really the issue that towers above all other issues is nursing facility occupancy. Pre-pandemic — say in January — nursing homes were 88, 89 percent occupied. Today, due to the pandemic, they’re occupied at about the 74 percent level.”
At that is hitting Waterbury’s Meridian Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center, much to Danielle O’Brien’s dismay. She lives near the facility.
“I think it’s very sad,” she said. “It’s been open for a very, very long time and has helped a lot around this area.”
According to our partners at The Hartford Courant, Meridian Manor has faced financial difficulties and is projected to lose more than one million dollars this fiscal year. The Courant is also reporting that Cassena Care at New Britain also intends to close because of financial reasons.
“There has been a period of financial instability for Connecticut nursing homes,” Barrett said.
No one from Meridian Manor would speak with News 8. According to The Courant, there are only seventeen patients there. The Connecticut Department of Public Health will work to transfer patients to nearby facilities. DPH will also transfer patients at Cassena Care in New Britain.
According to The Courant, Meridian Manor has the distinction of being one of the few nursing homes in the state that has not had a single case of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
That gives O’Brien something else to think about with that impending closure.
“Older people are the ones that are really affected by this pandemic,” she said. “So they have to try to find them new homes that don’t have COVID. It’s going to be a hard thing.”
Closing dates for both facilities are not known. Barrett tells News 8 efforts are in the works to convince state lawmakers to issue a financial relief package to help Connecticut’s nursing homes.