Which Nursing Homes Have Coronavirus Outbreaks? That Data Is Still Not Being Consistently Tracked
The Trump administration announced in April that it would start collecting data on outbreaks and deaths at long-term care facilities. But there is still no federal count and the information is not expected to be made public for weeks. "There's no way to actually get ahead of this if we don't have any data — it tells us where we have a problem. We know nothing about these facilities in terms of their personal protective equipment or in terms of their staffing or their infection control capability," David Grabowski, a professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School, told NBC News. The lag in data collection is just one of a number of bottlenecks in federal effort to slow the virus' deadly spread in nursing homes across the U.S. News from senior facilities in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana and Maine is also reported.
The Government Still Doesn't Know How Many Nursing Homes Have Coronavirus Outbreaks
On April 19, Medicare Administrator Seema Verma took the podium at the White House's daily coronavirus briefing to announce that the Trump administration would begin tracking outbreaks and deaths at long-term care facilities nationwide — and publish the numbers for everyone to see. The effort would begin within days, federal officials promised. More than two weeks and 13,000 long-term care deaths later, the federal government still has not tallied the number of nursing homes that have had outbreaks nationwide or the number of residents who have died. And the data is still weeks away from being made public, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, the federal agency that oversees nursing homes. (Strickler and Khimm, 5/8)
The New York Times:
Report Paints Scathing Picture Of Nursing Home Where 17 Bodies Piled Up
One patient at a troubled nursing home in northern New Jersey was found dead in bed, 12 hours after falling on a wet floor and suffering a head injury. Rigor mortis had set in. The patient had suffered from a high fever for days, but a doctor was never told. Sick residents who were awaiting the results of coronavirus tests shared rooms with healthy residents. And thermometers used to take employees’ temperatures at the start of each shift did not work. (Tully and Goldstein, 5/7)
Murphy Deploys 120 National Guard Troops To New Jersey’s Long-Term Care Facilities
Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that 120 members of the New Jersey National Guard will be deployed to help out at the state’s long-term health care facilities, which have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus. Of the 8,801 coronavirus-related deaths that have been reported statewide since early March, 4,505 have been at long-term care facilities. Overall, nearly 25,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported at those sites. (Friedman, 5/7)
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Deaths Mount In Louisiana Nursing Homes As Details Of State Testing Plan Remain Unclear
Reported deaths from the novel coronavirus in Louisiana nursing homes rose to 709 Thursday, up 21 from Monday's report as the virus continued to exact a devastating toll on the state's elderly and infirm, especially those who live in communal settings. More than 3,300 nursing homes residents have tested positive for the virus and 179 of the state's 279 nursing homes have reported infections, according to numbers released Thursday by the Louisiana Department of Health. (Roberts III, 5/7)
Bangor Daily News:
She Was In Maine’s Largest COVID-19 Outbreak, But Tested Negative. Then, She Tested Positive And Died.
Ogren’s death after initially testing negative for COVID-19 highlights how the coronavirus can keep spreading through a nursing home where older residents with underlying health conditions live in close quarters. Maine has so far seen coronavirus outbreaks in seven long-term care homes, and more than half of the state’s coronavirus deaths have been nursing home residents. (Pendharkar, 5/8)