DPH: Nursing Home Conronavirus Deaths Rise To 768

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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.

The nursing home with the highest number of residents with COVID-19 is the Abbott Terrace Health Center, with 114; followed by the Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield, with 92; and the Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion in Milford with 86, and the Branford Hills Health Care Center, with 72, according to the DPH data.

Six nursing homes had only one resident with COVID-19: Guilford House; Westside Care Center in Manchester; Beacon Brook Health Center in Naugatuck; Cassena Care at New Britain; Autumn Lake Health Care at Buck’s Hill, Waterbury and Apple Rehab in Watertown. (A complete list is at the bottom of this story.)

“The spread of COVID-19 within Connecticut nursing homes is a reflection of the pernicious character of the virus and is in no way a reflection of the quality of the nursing home or the care it provides,” said Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, in a press release.

“Connecticut nursing homes, like other health care providers, have followed all of the guidance and best practices made available by state and federal authorities to keep COVID-19 from entering the building. The data continues to tell us that nursing home operators and employees who are doing all the right things are seeing firsthand how highly contagious and insidious the virus is for the residents they serve,” Barrett said.

Gov. Ned Lamont this week ordered nursing facilities to report daily coronavirus deaths to DPH or face a $5,000 fine for each reporting violation.  The order follows a number of discrepancies in reporting and an inability to match deaths reported by the state medical examiner or death certificates.

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.

DPH is conducting both on-site and phone inspections of all nursing homes. 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 22.

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