Wednesday 12 January 2022

Here We Go Again… Connecticut Asks Nursing Homes to Accept COVID-Infected Patients from Hospitals Due to Staff Shortages


A 2020 study revealed 45% of all US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes.

Only 0.6% of the US population lives in nursing homes but over 45% of the coronavirus deaths were in these centers.

But not in the case of Connecticut.

The state of Connecticut is asking its nursing homes to accept COVID-infected patients discharged from hospitals.

According to the memo released by Connecticut Department of Public Health on Jan 6, “Per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), post-acute care includes long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and home health (HH) agencies.”

“This guidance could also apply for assisted living facilities, residential care homes, and other congregate living settings,” the memo continued.

More from FOX News:

Those facilities “should be equipped to safely care for individuals with active COVID-19 who are ready for discharge from acute care,” according to the memo dated Jan. 6. Discharge cannot be delayed for pending test results, as nursing homes already have quarantine policies based on vaccination status.

The new guidance comes as more than 80% of nursing homes in Connecticut are reporting positive cases among residents and staff, The Connecticut Mirror reported. State health department data shows that more than 92% of residents aged 65 to 74 and 86.9% of those 75 or older are fully vaccinated.

However, early studies indicate vaccines do not offer as much protection against omicron, now the dominant variant in the U.S., as they have against previous versions of the coronavirus.

Matthew Barrett, the president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, told The Mirror that the new state department policy should still allow nursing homes to reject COVID-19 patients if they are not equipped to care for them due to widespread staffing shortages.

A spokesperson for Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told the newspaper that if nursing homes reject COVID-19 patients, the hospitals will still be responsible for finding another place for the person to stay.

According to CDC, “older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die. The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick.”

Last November, a Covid outbreak at a Connecticut nursing home has killed 8 fully vaccinated residents and infected 89 others.

Among the 89 people infected at Geer Village Senior Community in Canaan, 87 were fully vaccinated.

And New Jersey was the first state to settle claims that the state’s negligence contributed to the deaths of more than 100 veterans at state-run homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

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