Nursing Home Deaths Soar

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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.

The nursing home with the highest number of residents with COVID-19 is the Abbott Terrace Health Center, with 120; followed by Litchfield Woods, Torrington with 114, Branford Hills Health Care Center, with 91, the Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield, with 93; and the Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion in Milford with 80, according to the DPH data.

Seven nursing homes had only one resident with COVID-19: Avon Health Center, Ingraham Manor of Bristol, Pines at Bristol Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Greer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Canaan; Hancock Hall, Danbury; Guilford House, and Apply Rehab Watertown.

Gov. Ned Lamont has 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.

The Connecticut National Guard is assisting the DPH in inspecting the state’s 215 nursing homes as state officials try to halt the spread of the COVID-19 through the facilities.

Due to a surge in cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents, the governor last month raised Medicaid payments for the state’s 215 nursing homes by an additional 5%, on top of the initial 10% rise announced previously.

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.

The state is also assisting with start-up costs and a $600 per-day payment to all facilities that are designated by the 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), according to the governor.

Below is the list of nursing homes residents with COVID-19, as of April 29.

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