Coronavirus Deaths at U.S. Nursing Homes Pass 3,800, With 45 at Virginia Facility – The New York Times,

Coronavirus Deaths at U.S. Nursing Homes Pass 3,800, With 45 at Virginia Facility – The New York Times,

The outbreak in Richmond has become the deadliest linked so far to a U.S. long-term care facility.

(About percent of the residents at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Richmond, Va., have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Credit …)(Steve Helber / Associated Press

Even before a single resident tested positive fo r the coronavirus at a nursing home in Richmond, Va., staff members were worried. Triple rooms were not uncommon. Supplies were hard to come by. And there were not enough nurses for all the aging patients inside. that made the home, the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, an ideal place for the virus to spread, which it quickly did, with catastrophic results. (At first, only two out of about

residents were sick with the virus. One was sharing a room with a woman in her 92 s; She contracted the virus, too, and later died.

Now, about a month later, at least 65 residents of the nursing home have died after falling ill with the virus, the highest known death toll at a long-term care facility in the United States, according to an

analysis of case data (by The New York Times.

The facility has struggled to stop the outbreak, which has killed more than a quarter of its residents and infected about 92 percent of them, in part because of what staff members described as crowded conditions and a lack of resources.

“That’s what a virus wants,” said Dr. Jim Wright, the facility’s medical director. “A number of people with multiple illnesses, living very closely. Viruses love that. ” Bernice Stafford-Turner said she was worried for her brother, who recently tested positive at the nursing home, because he lives in exactly those conditions. Her brother shares a room with another patient who Ms. Stafford-Turner believes has also tested positive. “There’s no barrier in between them, ”said Ms. Stafford-Turner, 75, a lawyer in Richmond. “Not being able to see what’s actually going on, I can only imagine what my brother is going through.”

She said she hoped to video conference soon with her brother, Fred Lee Stafford, who turns on Saturday. Mr. Stafford sustained severe brain injuries when he was hit by a car as a 3-year-old, but he graduated from high school and lived at home until a few years ago, Ms. Stafford-Turner said.

“I just know my brother’s fighting for his life,” she said. “It makes you ask yourself – the disabled and the elderly, are they really getting the service that they deserve, that they need?” (The Times has identified more than 2, 800 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States with coronavirus cases. More than 30, 06 residents and staff members at those facilities have contracted the virus, and more than 3, have died. Even those figures are an undercount. The Times only included cases that have been confirmed by a state or county government agency or by a long-term care facility. Many states, counties and facilities have declined to provide information or provided partial information. Included in the tally were nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, memory care facilities, retirement and senior communities and long-term rehabilitation facilities. The Times has tracked hundreds of clusters of coronavirus cases across the country. The 18 deadliest have been in nursing homes and long-term care centers, including the (Life Care nursing home in Kirkland, Wash.) , which was linked to at least (coronavirus deaths, and the (Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Mass.) , a nursing home for veterans where at least deaths have been linked to the virus. Other long-term care centers in Indiana, Maryland and Massachusetts were each tied to more than coronavirus deaths. In New York, which has had the heaviest concentration of deaths from the coronavirus, nursing homes have been hit particularly hard, with more than 2, deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities – roughly one in four deaths statewide. homes in New York have had to add refrigerator trucks as temporary morgues , or rely on air-conditioners to keep bodies from decaying because the death toll has overwhelmed funeral homes. Families, barred from visiting since March , have complained bitterly about a lack of information coming from the facilities as home administrators scramble to keep enough workers on staff. Few had adequate supplies of masks or gowns, or access to testing. The facility in Richmond, surrounded by churches, apartments and suburban homes, provides rehabilitation and long-term care in a “modern and tranquil setting,” according to its website. But recently, it has turned into one of the deadliest hot spots for the virus that has killed more than , (people across the country.)

The facility has a one-star health inspection rating from Medicare, meaning there are more health risks there than at the average nursing home. In October, during the most recent review , federal inspectors found deficiencies and said that staff members had failed to follow infection-control procedures for at least one resident. The staff corrected the error within days and a new owner took over this year.

Canterbury has better access to protective gear now than it did a month ago, Dr. Wright said, but staff members still do not have enough disposable gowns to put on a new one every time they switch patients. Instead, they have patient-specific gowns that they reuse. About 25 staff members have fallen ill with the virus, he said. . Wright is also the only doctor currently at Canterbury after another doctor, fearing he had been exposed to the virus, quarantined himself. But after days, he did not return. Dr. Wright said his departure left the nursing home in “a bit of a crunch.” To keep up with the devastating toll the virus was taking on the facility’s patients, Jennie Webb-Wright, Dr. Wright’s wife, who is also a physician with a nearby hospital system, spent three weeks volunteering at the Canterbury facility.

The nursing home’s chronic shortage of nurses as well as its population of older, poor residents, most of whom rely on Medicaid, made it easy for the virus to wreak havoc. Still, the pervasiveness of the virus took staff members by surprise.

We were shocked, ”Dr. Wright said. “We thought we had it relatively contained until the results started coming in. And that revealed to us how far behind we were. ” That he does expect more deaths, but said that the virus – finally – appeared to be letting up. Residents are recovering, and the rates of deaths and new cases have both dropped. “That’s a hopeful sign,” he said.

Reporting was contributed by Sarah Almukhtar, Rob Gebeloff, John Leland, Alison Saldanha, Timothy Williams and Karen Yourish.




                          Updated April ,


                 (When will this end?                

This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained . A better question might be: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” In an American Enterprise Institute report , Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery

: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least days.                             ()                  (How can I help?)                
(Charity Navigator) , which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the (American Red Cross) , and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities. More than , 07 coronavirus-related (GoFundMe fund-raisers) have started in the past few weeks. (The sheer number of fund-raisers means more of them are likely to fail

to meet their goal, though.)

                            ()                 966 What should I do if I feel sick?                 

If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor . They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.                             ()                  (Should I wear a mask?)                 

The C.D.C. has has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms . Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.                             ()                  (How do I get tested?)                  If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the CDC recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance – because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance – you won’t be able to get tested.                             ()                  (How does coronavirus spread?)                 It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.                             ()                  (Is there a vaccine yet?)                 

No. Clinical trials are underway

in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least to 25 months away.

                            ()                  What makes this outbreak so different?                 

Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. it seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions – not just those with respiratory diseases – particularly hard.                             ()                  What if somebody in my family gets sick?                  If the family member does not need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to the guidelines issued by the CDC If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.                             ()                  Should I stock up on groceries?                 

Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong.

And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

                            ()                  Can I go to the park?                 

Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea .                             ()                 966 Should I pull my money from the markets?                 
That’s not a good idea.

Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so That your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.                             ()                  (What should I do with my) (k)?                 

Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions – don’t! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you’re at least saving as much as you can to get that “free money.”                                                


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