Watchdog cites persistent infection lapses in nursing homes

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The first round of testing all staff and residents is being conducted by the county at no cost to the nursing homes, according to the letter.

"The introduction of a highly contagious and deadly virus into such conditions was always going to be like setting a match to tinder, which is why this administration has been so focused on protecting this vulnerable population", Verma said.

The federal government on Monday released guidelines states could follow to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors.

We have been asked by readers whether people who live in independent living facilities can be tested for Covid-19 in the same way care home residents and staff can be.

For instance, CMS suggested that states implement Phase 1 of the plan once most nursing home facilities are able to be at "their highest level of vigilance, regardless of transmission within their communities". It also said that discharging infected residents from hospitals to nursing homes that could not create separate units - or designate COVID-only equipment and staff - was a "recipe for disaster".

In only four other states is the percentage of COVID-19 deaths from nursing home patients greater than 70 percent, the KFF reports: New Hampshire (77 percent), Rhode Island (77 percent), Nebraska (71 percent), and Pennsylvania (71 percent).

We at CMS share the goal of keeping nursing facility residents safe and healthy.

An NJ Advance Media investigation this week into the Murphy administration's response to the outbreak found the state failed to react fast enough or take forceful, aggressive actions to slow the rampage in nursing homes as the virus preyed on the state's most vulnerable patients, according to more than a dozen public health experts, industry officials, family members and advocates. According to the state department of health, those facilities have accounted for more than 65 percent of the COVID-19 fatalities.

Similarly, the American Health Care Association said nursing homes need funding and support from state governments in order to expand their testing capacities. "Without universal testing, the virus will continue to rage through nursing facilities and kill many more residents". All people entering the facility are screened at the beginning of each shift with temperature checks, face masks, answering a questionnaire about symptoms and exposure, and each resident screened at least daily with temperature checks and for any symptoms.

For example, Toby Edelman of the Center for Medicare Advocacy said although prohibitions on visitors are meant to keep nursing home residents safe, they could have negative consequences if residents are socially isolated for too long.

The nursing homes cited in the report were not identified.

California's most recent data shows that there have been 874 reported deaths in nursing homes due to coronavirus, just more than a quarter of the 3,334 reported deaths so far in the state.

Some facilities reporting a relatively large number of deaths said that raw numbers don't tell the whole story.

As such, CMS on Monday issued new guidance detailing steps that nursing homes and their communities should take before relaxing restrictions aimed at curbing the new coronavirus' spread at the facilities. "And then the requirement is that they report to us on a weekly basis so we'll have the look-back and then we'll also have the go forward".

The Minnesota Department of Health reports that as of Thursday, 663 (or 81.9 percent) out of 809 total COVID-19 deaths in the state were patients who became infected with coronavirus while residing "in long-term care or assisted living facilities".

"On [May 11], the President declared we have 'prevailed, ' but the reality is, even in the places where it's most needed, like nursing homes, all across the country, adequate testing is still unavailable".

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