Report shows nursing homes could see third spike of new COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — A new report by the American Health Care Association shows nursing homes could see a third spike of new COVID-19 cases because of community spread among the general population.

The report showed new COVID cases in nursing homes had declined significantly from 10,125 cases the week of July 26 —when the country experienced a growing number of cases in the Sun Belt states— but saw an uptick in new cases in the final week of September. The report also showed COVID-related deaths in nursing homes had declined significantly. However, industry leaders remain concerned about the recent uptick in new COVID cases in facilities.

Over in Boone County, one long-term care center has seen three additional deaths and 24 new COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, according to the county health department.

“They have had strike teams out, and they are doing everything they can to make sure they are containing ,” said Boone County Health Administrator Lisa Younts.

On September 10, the statewide seven-day moving average for cases involving long-term residents was 24. On September 30, it jumped to 63 cases.

“We were anticipating this, and with more community spread, we have been seeing it has been increasing steadily,” said Younts.

Last week, the Indiana Health Care Association said the total number of new cases in long-term care facilities represents only 4% of total new COVID-19 cases in Indiana over the last 30 days, according to data available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

More than 50% of COVID-19 deaths in Indiana are linked to the state’s long-term care facilities.

Steve Lindsay lives in Connersville and has three relatives who live in long-term care facilities. He found out this month his brother and parents all tested positive for COVID-19.

“It just seems like once it gets in there, it spreads like wildfire,” said Lindsay.

His brother and mom live at one facility, and his dad stays at a different facility in Fayette County. Lindsay explained both centers are now on lockdown, and he is not able to visit his relatives.

“I know the facilities are doing the best that they can given [with] what they are facing, but it just seems that this is the most vulnerable section of the population, and once it gets in there, it is just hard to get rid of it I guess,” he said.

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