(WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont released the latest numbers associated with COVID-19 positive patients and deaths related to the virus in nursing homes across the State of Connecticut Thursday evening.
The latest numbers indicate that, so far, 1,713 residents of nursing homes across the state have tested positive for coronavirus, and 375 of those have died – which is more than a third of the total coronavirus-related deaths in the state.
The data also shows that the largest population of coronavirus positive residents and the largest number of coronavirus-related nursing home deaths has occurred at the Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury.
The facility with the highest percentage of sick residents is Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion in Milford, with 55%. Golden Hill – at the center of a great deal of controversy in recent weeks – reports that 67 residents in their 120-bed facility have tested positive. The facility has reported nine Coronavirus-related deaths among residents.
Whispering Pines of East Haven – a facility with just over 90 beds has reported 14 Coronavirus-related fatalities.
The data will reportedly be updated weekly by the State.
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Statement from Tim Brown, Abbott Terrace Spokesperson and Director of Marketing and Communications regarding the reporting of the state’s nursing home coronavirus numbers:
“This pandemic has been incredibly challenging and sadly impacted nursing homes at a disproportionately high rate. We are devastated that patients in our care have contracted this virus. We are doing all we can to treat them and our thoughts are with those patients inflicted with this virus and their loved ones.
We also continue to do all we can to protect our residents and staff. We are conducting cleanings and infection control measures multiple times per day, with extra care on high touch areas. We are limiting the number of staff going into resident rooms to only direct care staff. And we are monitoring our personal protective equipment – and requesting additional equipment from the state – to ensure our staff has the protection they need to keep them and residents safe. We cannot thank our staff enough for the incredible dedication and sacrifices they have made throughout this crisis. They are saving lives with all they do.
We are not confident that the numbers in the report are an accurate depiction of our center. Abbott Terrace has accepted COVID-19 positive residents from area assisted livings and other nursing homes who were unable to be cared for in those settings. Additionally, the report appears to show total numbers that are inclusive of positive tests and pending tests (with no reported results), while the column noting deaths appears to include residents who were already receiving hospice services prior to contracting COVID-19.
We are committed to continuing to be as transparent as possible with our residents and families. We are sending weekly email updates and holding regular “Town Hall” conference calls and Zoom meetings, as we have done since early March. We encourage any residents and family members to contact us with any questions they have about the care we are offering and we will work to address any issues that arise. This is an incredibly challenging time and we are doing all we can to get through this, together.”
The Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities (CAHCF) released a statement asking for the new data to be used as a reason to support the state’s nursing homes during the pandemic.
“Nursing homes are serving a vital role in the health care response to this virus and nursing home staff is on the front line. They must be prioritized for PPE and testing supplies — particularly as nursing homes statewide have assumed increased responsibilities as partners to hospitals in caring for COVID-19 patients. The data should inform these supply decisions.”Mag Morelli, President of LeadingAge Connecticut
The state and the folks who run nursing homes both say that the number of sick or dead in any one home is not a reflection of the kind of care people are getting in that facility. Some homes with high numbers say they accepted patients who were already positive for coronavirus.
They say the numbers prove how bad the virus is, not how bad a nursing home is.