Nursing Home Deaths Soar

In Connecticut, nursing home residents represent more than one-half of all coronavirus deaths, according to a new report by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Deaths in nursing homes rose to 1,249 from 758 in one week.  The 1,249 deaths represent 55% of the state’s 2,257 COVID-19 deaths. COVID-19 cases in nursing homes increased from 3,423  to 4,814, DPH said. Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 150 have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, up from 135 a week ago. Kimberly Hall North in Windsor and Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford reported the most COVID-19 deaths at 39 each, followed by Abbott Terrace Health Center of Waterbury, with 37; and Sheridan Woods Health Care Center in Bristol, with 28.

DPH: Nursing Home Conronavirus Deaths Rise To 768

Nursing home resident deaths attributed to COVID-19 have more than doubled, from 375 to 768, in one week, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Public Health (DPH) released Friday night. COVID-19 cases rose from 1,713 to 3,423, the DPH said. Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 135 have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, up from 108 a week ago. The 768 nursing home deaths as of April 22 represent 43% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. Kimberly Hall North in Windsor has reported the most COVID-19 deaths, with 34, according to the DPH, followed by Abbott Terrace Health Center of Waterbury, with 29; Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford with 27; and Sheridan Woods Health Care Center in Bristol, with 24.

State Fines Three Doctors, Disciplines Two Others

The state Medical Examining Board disciplined two physicians with $5,000 fines for failing to adequately inform and monitor patients while prescribing opioids or anti-anxiety medications. Dr. Michael Kelly, of Salisbury, was issued a $5,000 fine and a year of probation Tuesday for failing to consistently adhere to a safe opioid prescribing system that included checking the medical history of patients and documenting justification for chronic opioid treatment, according to a consent order, approved today (Tuesday). A state Department of Public Health (DPH) consultant looking into a referral made by the state Department of Consumer Protection, Drug Control Division, found that Kelly also failed to monitor chronic opioid patients and didn’t check the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program every 90 days for some patients. As a result of the investigation, Kelley, a primary care physician with a private practice in Salisbury, agreed to pay the fine and have 20% of his patients’ records reviewed during a one-year period of probation. Kelly voluntarily surrendered his registration to prescribe controlled substances and would need to be monitored for a year if he sought the registration back, DPH documents said.

Fear Grips Health Workers Caring For The Elderly

For the past month or so, Leikish Nails has engaged in an elaborate ritual the minute she gets home from her shift at Touchpoints at Manchester, a skilled nursing facility that has seen four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses caused by COVID-19. She kicks her shoes off before she walks in, sprays them and leaves them on the deck before disrobing in potentially full view of the neighbors. Her clothes immediately go in the washing machine seconds before she jumps in the shower. “I don’t hug my kids as much as I used to,” the 38-year-old Willimantic resident said. “I’m afraid to hug my kids,” she said while crying during a recent phone call.

So Far, Colebrook Residents Elude COVID-19

The sleepy town of Colebrook has no traffic lights, no police department, no public sewer or water system and no confirmed cases of COVID-19. “Knock on wood,” said Colebrook Board of Finance Chair James Millar. “I think we’re lucky. I wouldn’t say that we are doing anything that’s not being done by the rest of the state.”

On the Massachusetts border in Litchfield County, Colebrook is among eight small towns in the western and eastern portions of Connecticut that so far have not had a resident test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, which has killed hundreds of thousands worldwide. Litchfield County had 446 confirmed cases and 24 deaths as of Monday afternoon.

COVID-19 Risks Could Speed Transitions To At-Home Dialysis

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in a “huge paradigm shift” toward in-home dialysis treatments in the future, experts predict. Home “is the safest place for them to be,” said Dr. Holly Kramer, president of the National Kidney Foundation and a practicing nephrologist. In times like this, immunocompromised individuals are at increased risk of becoming ill. Roughly 85% of dialysis patients get their treatments in centers—often three days a week, and typically for several hours at a time—where other dialysis patients also are being treated, she said. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, nephrologists nationwide were urging a growing number of patients to consider at-home care, she said, and the pandemic “will push things much, much faster” in that direction.

Coping With Pandemic: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

It’s important to practice physical distancing – but not social distancing. People need connection and belonging. There are ways to achieve that online through volunteering and using new platforms to connect with friends. Low-tech sources of meaning like poetry and prayer are helpful too. C-HIT’s Colleen Shaddox talks about ways to battle loneliness with Dr. Megan V. Smith, associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and the Yale Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine.