COLCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -- COVID outbreaks at Connecticut nursing homes could prompt change.

An independent report was done at the request of Gov. Ned Lamont, which shows where COVID-19 cases are the highest, and makes recommendations.

The report also recommends certain things should be done to keep COVID-19 from spreading, and support the well-being of residents.

When it comes to nursing homes and COVID, facilities with many cases are usually in communities where there are high numbers of the virus.

Harrington Court, a nursing home in Colchester, is dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus.

Forty-five residents, and 11 staff members have tested positive.

Two weeks ago, Three Rivers nursing home in Norwich had to close its doors and relocate residents because staff couldn’t keep COVID-19 from spreading.

“We won’t really be in a safe place without a vaccine, but with the kind of measure in place, testing, protective equipment, and adequate staffing, we think we are well positioned to get to the other side of this in Connecticut,” said Matt Barrett, president of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities.

Barrett said there is adequate personal protective equipment now, but if there is a surge in cases, the state must increase its supply.

The independent report recommends a framework to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors; that nursing homes have a full-time infection preventionist and increase minimum staffing levels; and ensure all staff have access to guaranteed paid sick leave.

All of these outbreaks come as the state is easing restrictions on indoor visits, and the report emphasizes the importance of allowing residents to have visitors.

Elizabeth Stern was a caregiver for her mother and now advocates for others, and says there needs to be more supportive staff especially when families can’t visit.

“The emotional, psycho-social and spiritual needs of the people who must live in nursing homes are a significant risk. The depression that is happening in nursing homes right needs to be exposed and addressed,” Stern said.

The isolation part is challenging, as state health officials say nursing homes need to put a plan in place to ensure visitations are safe.

Channel 3 was told that more than a dozen recommendations have already been implemented.

Read the report here.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

x_lab_tech

Ah yes, Harrington Court, run by GENESIS HEALTH, home of the dropped patient, the pressure (bed) sores, and now Covid 19 infection. What a great institution!

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