Task force to examine COVID impact on CT nursing homes
The governor’s office is planning to form a task force to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on nursing homes.
The announcement on Friday came as there has been a resurgence of cases in nursing and assisted living facilities.
The total number of COVID cases statewide declined Friday with 761 reported and a 2.5 percent daily positivity rate. The numbers were down from Thursday when there were 1,319 new infections and a daily positivity rate of 6 percent.
That drop is largely due to a bump in testing, with 30,554 new tests recorded Friday — more than 8,800 more than the previous day.
Taking an average over the last seven days, the state’s positivity rate sits at 3 percent.
The 14-day measure of cases per day per 100,000 residents is 16.8. That metric is used in determining the level of spread in each community with the “red alert” municipalities having more than 15 cases per day per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span. On average, Connecticut as a whole remains in the red alert level.
Friday’s cases brought the state’s cumulative total for COVID-19 cases to 71,207.
Seven more deaths attributed to the disease brought the state’s death toll to 4,616.
There were eight more hospitalizations reported on Friday, increasing the state’s total to 329.
The group that will address the situation in nursing homes will be chaired by state Rep. Toni Walker, a New Haven Democrat, and a member of the executive branch who is yet to be named.
“There has certainly been an uptick,” Josh Geballe, Lamont’s chief operating officer, said during Thursday’s press conference. “We have reinstituted testing for all nursing homes weekly for their staff, even nursing homes that have not had any cases.”
The guidance previously allowed homes to test staff on a monthly basis if they went 14 days without a case of COVID-19.
Among staff at nursing homes, 92 new cases were reported between Oct. 21 and Tuesday, a report released by the governor’s office Friday shows. Among nursing home residents, 85 new cases were reported, along with 19 new deaths attributed to the disease.
At assisted living facilities, 26 new cases were reported among residents during the same period, along with three more deaths.
Taken together, the new cases at long-term care facilities reported this week comprise 5.4 percent of the new cases reported throughout the state during the same timeframe
Geballe said the state is providing additional support at around eight facilities, six nursing homes and two assisted living facilities, where there are significant outbreaks.
The state is providing additional support at around eight facilities, six nursing homes and two assisted living facilities, where there are significant outbreaks, Geballe said.
He said that with proper use of protective wear by staff, “oftentimes” new cases of COVID-19 in staff will be caught before it’s transmitted into the resident population.
“Our team at (the Department of Public Health) reminds us that that’s kind of a win,” he said.