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State Releases COVID-19 Cases and Deaths at Long-Term Care Facilities

by on May 19, 2020 2:27 PM

This story has been updated with new information provided by Vince Romanini, owner of Wynwood House.

For the first time, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Human Services on Tuesday released the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at individual nursing and personal care homes.

At facilities where there are between one and four cases or deaths, specific numbers are redacted.

Among Centre County facilities, the state reported Wynwood House at State College, located on Bernel Road had 15 resident cases, 10 employee cases and at least one resident death. Owner Vince Romanini, however, said that there have in fact been 13 resident and 12 employee cases. He also confirmed one death of a resident with COVID-19.

He said Wynwood House at State College has tested 24 staff members and 22 of 27 residents, through health department testing and tests acquired from a company and sent to a private lab. He noted that of the first 13 positive tests, 10 (five residents and five staff) have since been asymptomatic for three weeks.

Romanini also said data showing an employee case at Wynwood Hose at Greenhills, on Farmstead Lane, was incorrect and that there have been no positive tests at that location. He said he notified the human services department, which agreed the report was in error, and he expects the data to be corrected in the near future.

Numbers were redacted in each category for The Oaks at Pleasant Gap's Schreffler Manor personal care facility, indicating at least one resident and employee case and at least one death. A spokesperson for The Oaks has previously confirmed at least two resident deaths.

On Monday, the health department listed Centre County long-term care facilities as having a combined 18 resident and 13 employee cases. All five COVID-19 deaths in the county also were listed as being among nursing home residents. As of Tuesday, however, aggregate nursing home numbers by county are no longer available.

Centre Crest in Bellefonte previously reported an employee case but is not listed in the health department data. A statement from the facility on May 5 said that the employee did not work in resident care units and had been isolating at home since April 21.

The full list of cases by facility is available here.

Statewide, as of Tuesday morning, there are 13,813 resident and 2,191 employee cases at 557 long-term facilities in 44 counties. Of the 4,624 COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania, 3,145 have been residents of nursing or personal care homes.

“Long-term care facility residents are among the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and we want their families to have the latest information on what is going on in the facilities in which their loved ones reside,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “COVID-19 is a particularly challenging situation for these settings as they care for residents with serious medical conditions. We will continue to work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents through education, resources and testing.”

The health department has undertaken efforts to make COVID-19 testing available for all residents and staff in long-term care facilities and has ramped up delivery of personal protective equipment. The Pennsylvania National Guard will provide a mobile testing option for facilities that are not be able to test on their own.

New guidance to hospitals and long-term care facilities requires that if a patient is released from the hospital to a nursing, personal care or assisted living facility that they be tested for COVID-19, if they were not hospitalized for the virus.

“Our long-term care facilities are an integral part of Pennsylvania’s health care system. People providing care in long-term care facilities must endure these challenges of this difficult time while maintaining continuity and services for people under their care,” said Secretary of of Human Services Teresa Miller. “We are committed to continuing networks of support for these facilities so we can navigate and overcome this challenge together.”

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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