California’s Deadliest Spring in 20 Years Suggests COVID Undercount

By Phillip Reese, CaliforniaHealthline, September 21 2020 The first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic in California rank among the deadliest in state history, deadlier than any other consecutive five-month period in at least 20 years. And the grim milestone encompasses thousands of “excess” deaths not accounted for in the state’s official COVID death tally: a loss of life concentrated among Blacks, Asians and Latinos, afflicting people who experts say likely didn’t get preventive medical care amid the far-reaching shutdowns or who were wrongly excluded from the coronavirus death count.

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‘Quality of Life is Medically Necessary’: What Nursing Home Residents’ Families Want in a Post-COVID World

By Alex Spanko, Skilled Nursing News, September 20, 2020 For Melody Taylor Stark, navigating life after her husband Bill required long-term nursing care hasn’t always been easy, but with the help of some caring staffers and a little bit of creativity, the couple was able to settle into something like normalcy. Friday nights out at a restaurant became takeout shared over a table that the facility’s staff reserved just for them, off in a private room with a tablecloth and flowers.

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Some Louisiana nursing homes are undercounting coronavirus deaths, coroner data reveals

By Gordon Russell, NOLA, September 20 2020 Maison Orleans. Staff Photo by Scott Threlkeld At least eight residents of the Maison Orleans nursing home in Uptown New Orleans have died from the coronavirus — according to records provided by the Orleans Parish coroner’s office, anyhow. But the state Department of Health only lists three Maison Orleans residents among Louisiana’s 5,172 COVID-19 deaths.

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A tale of two Southern California nursing homes in the era of coronavirus

By Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News, September 16 2020 One facility was hit hard – 50-plus COVID cases and more than a dozen deaths. Another endured only 3 cases and just one patient died. Many factors likely figure in the difference. Administrator Hrag Bekerian felt confident, he said, that they were taking the right precautions at Gem Transitional Care Center before the coronavirus struck.

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More visitors needed to stem COVID-19 in nursing homes

Commentary by Thomas D. Elias, Napa Valley Register, September 17 2020 FILE – In this April 8, 2020 file photo, a patient at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside, Calif., is evacuated to a waiting ambulance. Officials in Riverside County have filed a complaint over conditions at the skilled nursing facility that was evacuated after staff failed to show up for work during a coronavirus outbreak.

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Nursing Homes Given Federal Go-Ahead To Allow More Visitors

By Ina Jaffe, NPR, September 17 2020 Larry Yarbroff visits his wife Mary at Chaparral House in Berkeley, Calif. in July. California health authorities had allowed some visits to resume, and now federal regulators are doing the same, with measures to try to block the spread of the coronavirus.Jeff Chiu/AP The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulate nursing facilities, are lifting the ban on visitors, effective immediately.

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Task force says nursing homes need more aid. Critics say industry should step up.

By Will Englund, The Washington Post, September 17 2020 The special panel urged the Trump administration and states to provide more resources but some say it failed to hold industry and regulators accountable. Lynn Foley, right, of Deerfield Beach, reaches out to her mother, Vernice Huff, as they celebrate her 100th birthday at John Knox Village recently in Pompano Beach, Fla.

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Nursing Home Commission Reveals Divisions Over Response to Covid-19 and Recommends Immediate Improvements

By Eleanor Laise, BARRON’S, Sept. 17, 2020 An ambulance pulls up outside of the Cobble Hill Health Center on April 18, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. An independent commission set up by the Trump administration to assess the impact of Covid-19 on nursing homes released dozens of recommendations on Wednesday but also revealed divisions over how to respond to the crisis.

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Pandemic isolation has killed thousands of Alzheimer’s patients while families watch from afar

By William Wan, The Washington Post, September 16 2020 Maybe, Dan Goerke figures, if he can talk to his wife, Denise, from the doorway of her nursing home near Atlanta, that will be the spark that keeps her alive. (Kevin D. Liles for The Washington Post) If only Dan Goerke could hold his wife’s hand. Maybe she would talk again.

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Summer wave of dementia deaths adds thousands to pandemic’s deadly toll

By Tucker Doherty, Politico, September 16 2020 “There’s something going on and it needs to be sorted out,” Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the CDC, said. Deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia rose to more than 20 percent above normal over the summer, a staggering figure that won’t factor into the official count of coronavirus deaths but is unmistakably linked to the pandemic’s true toll.

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