Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 108 have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Thursday as it released for the first time a breakdown of COVID-19 patients by facility.
A total of 1,713 nursing home residents with COVID-19 have been identified, of whom 375 have died, the DPH reported Thursday. Those 375 deaths are 39 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.
The nursing home with the highest number of residents with COVID-19 is the Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury, with 69; followed by the Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion in Milford with 67; and the Grimes Center in New Haven, with 58, according to the DPH data.
Five nursing homes had only one patient with COVID-19: Elim Park Baptist Home in Cheshire, RegalCare at Greenwich, Guilford House, Westside Care Center in Manchester, and Skyview Rehab and Nursing in Wallingford. (A complete list is at the bottom of this story.)
Seventy-five of the nursing facilities have been cited for infection-control violations from 2017-2019. The homes cited for more than one violation include, Abbott Terrace Health Center, Waterbury; Apple Rehab Farmington Valley, Jewish Senior Services, Bridgeport; and RegalCare, New Haven.
Also on Thursday, patients started being accepted at the COVID-19 dedicated floor at Sharon Health Care Center, said Tim Brown, communications director for Athena Health Care Systems, the first nursing home company to provide COVID-19 recovery centers.
The state is working with Connecticut’s long-term care facilities to establish COVID-19 recovery centers in nursing homes to treat patients who can be discharged from acute care hospitals but still need a high level of care.
Brown said Athena’s facility in Bridgeport, Northbridge Health Care Center, with 146 beds, will be ready to accept recovering acute care COVID-19 patients on Monday.
A previously vacant facility in Torrington will be ready to accept COVID-19 patients with 126 beds as early as Tuesday, Brown said. He said Athena worked with the Connecticut National Guard to prepare the facility.
Larry Santilli, Athena’s president, called the company’s 9,400 employees “heroes,” adding “Through opening these centers to COVID-only patients, our employees are contributing to saving lives across the state.”
Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, said “It is no small feat to take over a completely shuttered center, prepare it to be able to safely accommodate patients, and build a team to care for COVID-19 patients – all within a matter of days.”
Due to a surge in cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents, the governor on Sunday announced a boost in Medicaid payments for the state’s 215 nursing homes by an additional 5% (effective April 1), that’s on top of the initial 10% rise announced previously (effective March 1). The 15 percent across-the-board financial relief will provide an additional $65 million in Medicaid payment increases to the state’s nursing homes.
The state’s increased financial support will be applied toward: employee wages, including staff retention bonuses, overtime, and shift incentive payments; new costs related to screening of visitors; personal protective equipment; cleaning and housekeeping supplies.
Also, the state will reimburse at $400 per day for COVID-positive residents in non-COVID recovery facilities. This rate is in effect for a maximum of 30 days per bed and will cost an estimated $15.4 million.
The state is also assisting with start-up costs and $600 per-day payment to all facilities that are designated by the Department of Public Health (DPH) as suitable to be re-opened for the purpose of serving residents with COVID-19 who are being discharged from hospitals and who need nursing home level of care.
In addition to the increased state assistance, it is also anticipated that nursing homes will receive enhanced support through the federal government from Medicare, a program wholly administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the governor’s release said.
And to provide additional support to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, DPH will make on-site visits to all facilities in the next seven to 10 days. The department’s Healthcare Quality and Safety Branch, with guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will conduct infection control surveys during each visit. To view the form that will be used during these site visits, click here.
Below is the list of nursing homes residents with COVID-19, as of April 16.