Milford nursing home still under investigation, PPE headed to homes
State health officials are still investigating a Milford nursing home where 80 residents have fallen ill after being exposed to coronavirus, while the governor’s office announced protective equipment from the national stockpile will be distributed to nursing homes.
Av Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Public Health, confirmed the state’s investigation into Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion is still pending in an email Monday.
The Bridgeport Avenue home became the subject of an investigation after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner changed the death certificate of a 91-year-old from respiratory failure to “acute respiratory infection, probable novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.”
Deaths at nursing homes make up about 55 percent of the total deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Connecticut, according to data released by the governor’s office last Thursday.
At least 17 residents of the nursing home have died after testing positive for the disease, and five other deaths are suspected to have been COVID-19-related, according to the data.
Statewide, at least 4,814 nursing home residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. There have been at least 958 deaths attributed to the illness, with 291 more suspected of being related to the disease.
The DPH is also investigating the home “regarding family notification of condition and COVID status,” Harris said previously.
Hearst Connecticut Media reached out to a spokeswoman for Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion, but did not receive a response.
The company has previously disputed claims raised by family members of residents who had gotten sick, including one family who said they learned their loved one had died from the disease when they received his death certificate.
Nursing homes are required to report all deaths confirmed or suspected to have involved COVID-19 to both the DPH and the chief medical examiner.
But that hasn’t always happened, according to Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill, who said his office has had to investigate deaths suspected of being COVID-19 related when they are not directly reported to his office.
In an email Monday, Gill said his office does not directly investigate nursing homes, which is handled by the DPH Facilities Licensing and Investigations Section, only deaths.
It is not clear how many other homes in the state, if any, are also under investigation.
Amid national headlines of high death tolls at nursing homes in Washington, New York and New Jersey, the Trump administration last month ordered homes to notify residents and their families within 12 hours of the first positive test for COVID-19 at their facility. The new rules also require the homes to update family members every time there is a new case, or if three or more people develop respiratory issues.
Seperately on Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced a shipment of protective equipment from the national stockpile will go to nursing homes.
“Finally the PPE is beginning to flow, and it’s coming from the national stockpile,” the governor said during his daily press conference Monday. “There’ll be a big shipment going out to all of our nursing homes, direct from the national stockpile of the course of the next week to two weeks.”
He said states will also begin receiving supplies to conduct COVID-19 testing from the federal government to enable them to test two percent of their population on a regular basis.
“So that is beginning to roll out and that we’re really thankful for,” the governor said.