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Information in Regards to Nursing Homes and COVID-19

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Admin


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Hello Friends and Neighbors,

During this very distressing and painful time for our community and state it is my hope that this message finds you well and that you are staying home and staying safe.

The death of several nursing home residents and the surge of positive COVID-19 residents in our nursing homes have been devastating to our families and our community. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.

While the rise in positive COVID-19 residents continues, I thought it necessary to share with you some of the measures that are being taken by the Governor, the Department of Public Health (DPH), state agencies, and nursing home facilities to protect our nursing home residents here in Waterford and throughout the state to the best of their ability.

First, DPH is, and has on a continuous basis, been working to protect our most vulnerable residents in nursing homes by verifying that long-term care facilities are adhering to guidelines established by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DPH. The long-term facilities are required to report to the DPH on a daily basis regarding their status of positive COVID-19 residents, the need for more Personal Protection Equipment and other essential needs.

Additionally, there are regular unannounced visits and inspections by DPH to long-term care facilities to verify that all protective measures, including screenings of healthcare workers, are in place at the facility. For additional support, the department’s Healthcare Quality and Safety Branch will conduct infection control surveys at all 215 nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

In spite of these efforts there are still various long-term care facilities that have large numbers of positive COVID-19 residents. We are all unified in monitoring the outbreak in Waterford and very committed to finding the best solutions for enhanced safety of our nursing home residents and town residents.

Please be assured that I have been working with DPH, and our First Selectman to ensure that our local nursing home healthcare workers and first responders are provided with the necessary Personal Protection Equipment during this health crisis.

Thank you to all of the healthcare workers and first responders, who with dedication and compassion, continue to work daily to save lives.

After listening to and consulting with families of nursing home residents, healthcare workers and nursing home administrators on a continuous basis, please know that I have and will continue as your State Representative to forward my recommendations to improve safety measures at nursing homes to the Department of Public Health, state administration, and legislative and local leaders. I am very grateful that the state’s 215 nursing homes will receive an additional 15% medicaid reimbursement that was sorely needed as a result of increased costs for staffing, supplies, personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family members of nursing home residents may also connect with the State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to express their concerns or to ask questions about nursing home care. The Ombudsman program advocates for the rights and quality of life issues of residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other adult care facilities. The State Ombudsman conducts a Facebook Live Page on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 pm.and welcomes your attendance.

More information for the State Ombudsman Program can be found here.

You may also reach out to me at any time with your questions.  Please feel free to call me at 860-442-2903 with any specific concerns that you may have for me regarding nursing homes or other state matters.

The Governor has included many of the recommendations forwarded to his office related to nursing homes in his Executive Orders, which can be viewed here.

The most recent information regarding long-term facilities is provided below this message.

Thank you all again for your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time. Please stay home and stay safe as we continue to conquer this COVID-19 outbreak together.

 

Medical Surge Plan with Long-Term Care Facilities

The state has joined forces with long-term care facilities on a medical surge plan that includes establishment of COVID-19 recovery centers in nursing homes across Connecticut. These recovery centers will accept patients who can be discharged from acute care hospitals but are still affected by COVID-19 infection. This plan will free up beds in the state’s hospitals by taking advantage of the nearly 2,000 beds available in long-term care facilities.

Additionally, the governor on Friday released a list of long-term care facilities with residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Please click here to review the latest list, although please note that this is expected to change frequently.

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding long-term care facilities and COVID-19, please click here.