Deaths across Connecticut rose by 624 between April 22 and April 29. During that period of time, deaths in nursing homes rose by 481.
COVID-19-linked deaths are increasingly happening in nursing homes, Gov. Ned Lamont told reporters last week. “That’s something we have to think about seriously,” he said.
COVID-19 is a new disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, and primarily causes severe illness in the elderly and people with serious health conditions like obesity and kidney disease.
The vast majority of deaths in Connecticut linked to the disease have been among those 70 or older, according to the state Department of Health. As of the latest update, Connecticut had 2,718 deaths associated with the disease. Of those, 1,596 were 80 or older, 596 were between 70 and 79, and 340 were between 60 and 69. Added together, those groups comprised 93.1 percent of the deaths in the state.
No deaths have been recorded among residents 29 or younger.
Lamont on April 23 ordered nursing homes and similar communities to report daily on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths linked to the disease. A $5,000 fine is levied on those that don’t comply.
State officials said in an April 17 order that resident transfers from hospitals or elsewhere shouldn’t be refused if their COVID status was unknown or, if they tested positive, if their symptoms had improved. Some residents were sent temporarily to facilities like Northbridge Health Care Center in Bridgeport that were set up for the elderly who weren’t ready to return to homes.
States across the country have seen a significant percentage of deaths linked to COVID-19 take place in nursing homes. New York officials said Monday that 4,813 have died in nursing homes, an addition of 1,700 from the previous report.
That figure didn’t include nursing home residents who were rushed to hospitals and later died in those facilities.
Nearby states have seen well over half of CCP virus-linked deaths come among nursing home residents, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Yale epidemiologist Dr. Albert Ko, who co-chairs Lamont’s reopening advisory group, told the Hartford Courant that the nursing home residents dying in such large numbers “brings tears to everyone’s eyes,” referring to residents as “princess diamonds” that need protection.
The board has discussed the rise in nursing home deaths but he declined to make public any recommendations members have decided upon.
“We’re really worried about this group and one of the major things we need to do is protect them,” Ko said. “But this virus blows up like wildfire in the facilities and is hard to contain.”