Nearly 30,000 nursing home residents died during coronavirus pandemic, government report shows

By Peter Whoriskey, Peter Whoriskey, Debbie Cenziper and Joel Jacobs, The Washington Post, June 1 2020 A patient is wheeled out of the Cobble Hill Health Center by emergency medical workers in Brooklyn in late April. The facility has reported dozens of deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic. (John Minchillo/AP) About one in five homes reported a death but about 20 percent of nursing homes have not yet reported case counts At least 26,000 elderly residents died and more than 60,000 were sickened as the unrelenting coronavirus swept America’s nursing homes in recent months, particularly those with a history of violating federal standards meant to control the spread of infections, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced late Monday.

Read More

‘It’s all over the board.’ California still far from testing everyone in elder care homes

By Anita Chabria and Maya Lau, Los Angles Times, May 31 2020 Sacramento County health director Peter Beilenson, 60, visits his mother, Dolores Beilenson, 86, at Sunrise of Sacramento, an assisted living center where she has resided for the last year. Dolores tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of March and tested negative three weeks later. 

Read More

‘It was me. I know it was me.’

As told to  Eli Saslow, Washington Post, May 30 2020 Voices from the Pandemic: Francene Bailey, on passing the coronavirus to her mother They keep telling me it’s not my fault, and I’d give anything to believe that. The doctor called after my mom went to the hospital and said: “Don’t blame yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong.” The pastor said basically the same thing at her funeral.

Read More

‘Why Do We Always Get Hit First?’ Proposed Budget Cuts Target Vulnerable Californians

By Samantha Young, California Healthline, May 29 2020  Shirley Madden depends on help from Felix Valbuena to live independently at home in Chatsworth, California. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed state budget would reduce the number of hours caregivers can work under the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program. (Courtesy of Carrie Madden) Shirley Madden, 83, relies on a caregiver and her two grown daughters to remain living at home — and not in a nursing home.

Read More

Some Nursing Homes Escaped Covid-19—Here’s What They Did Right

By Sara Harrison, WIRED, May 29 2020 As states start to reopen, senior care facilities must balance the needs of residents against the potential for more deadly Covid-19 outbreaks. PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES IN MID-MARCH, AS San Francisco mayor London Breed issued a citywide stay-at-home order, Peggy Cmiel started getting prepared. Cmiel is the director of clinical operations at the San Francisco Center for Jewish Living, or SFCJL, a 9-acre senior housing complex in the Excelsior neighborhood that includes long-term care facilities, short-term rehab housing, and a memory care wing.

Read More

Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots.

By Bryant Furlow, New Mexico In Depth, Carli Brosseau, The News & Observer and Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, May 29 2020 The long-term care industry resisted a federal mandate to plan for disasters including pandemics. About 43% of nursing homes have been caught violating the requirement, including facilities that have now had deadly COVID-19 outbreaks. Medical personnel evacuate patients at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside, California, on April 8 after 39 cases of the coronavirus were found at the facility and staff stopped going to work. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.

Read More

Families call for shutdown of Vallejo nursing home with 102 COVID infections, 13 deaths

By Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, May 28 2020 Many residents and staff members of Windsor Vallejo Care Center in Vallejo, Calif., have tested positive for COVID-19.  (Ben Margot / Associated Press) Nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 cases in one Bay Area county can be linked to a single location, a skilled nursing home in Vallejo where more than 100 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and 16 have died.

Read More

California requires universal testing at nursing homes, overruling L.A. County

Bu Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times, May 28 2020 The state health department requires testing of all nursing home residents and healthcare workers.(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times) California’s health department has issued new instructions to all skilled nursing facilities to test everybody in their facilities in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, a move that overrules a more lax testing policy allowed by Los Angeles County.

Read More

California calls for virus testing at all nursing homes

Big Rapids News Pioneer, May 28 2020 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is calling for all residents and health care workers at skilled nursing facilities to be tested for the new coronavirus to try to slow the spread of the illness. The state’s Department of Public Health issued a letter saying facilities should draft testing plans for all residents in settings without cases and all residents who have been exposed to the virus, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

Read More

What’s the Risk of Catching Coronavirus From a Surface?

By Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times, May 28 2020 Getty Images Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. Fears about catching the coronavirus from contaminated surfaces have prompted many of us to spend the past few months wiping down groceries, leaving packages unopened and stressing about touching elevator buttons.

Read More