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Have Nursing Homes Improved Their Response To Covid-19

Posted On July 23, 2020

Approximately a month ago, on June 20th, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported about 21,000 confirmed cases and 3,649 deaths in the nursing home setting. One month later has the situation at nursing homes improved?

As of July 17th, the State reports 23,607 cases and 3,974 deaths related to nursing homes. This represents an increase of approximately 2,607 cases and 325 deaths in a one-month period. There are approximately 1,200 long-term care facilities in Illinois. While the number of deaths may seem like a
minimal amount if spread over the number of facilities, keep in mind the actual number of residents.

Each year Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Director of the IDPH, submits a Long Term Care Annual Report to the Illinois General Assembly. In her report dated July of 2019, she reports a total number of 108,261 beds or residents. In light of the number of residents, 325 deaths no longer seems minimal.
Furthermore, there is speculation that some deaths in nursing homes were not originally categorized as being related to Covid-19.

Some nursing homes which previously showed a high level of cases seem to have stabilized. A month ago, Avanti Wellness & Rehabilitation in Niles reported 91 cases and 17 deaths. As of July 17th, they report 6 additional cases and no additional deaths.

However, other facilities continue to show an increase in Covid-related deaths even within the 30-day time period. Elevate Care in Northbrook previously reported 67 cases and 12 deaths and and has seen 7 additional cases and 3 additional deaths in the past 30 days. Elevate Care now reflects 74 cases and 15 deaths.

Generations at Regency in Niles had 113 cases and 28 deaths compared to currently reporting 129 cases and 32 deaths. This represents an increase of 4 additional cases and 4 additional deaths.

In DuPage County, Bria of Westmont had an increase of 19 cases in one-month’s time and 2 additional deaths. The home reported 133 cases and 23 deaths a month ago and is now reporting 152 cases and 25 deaths. Two Lexington-owned nursing homes in DuPage County, Lexington of
Bloomingdale and Lexington of Lombard, both reported increases in cases and deaths, with Bloomingdale reporting 4 additional deaths and the Lombard facility having 3 additional deaths.

One notable nursing home in DuPage County showing a spike in cases and deaths is West Suburban Nursing and Rehab Center in Bloomingdale. The nursing home currently reports 118 total cases and 15 deaths, rising from 101 cases and 8 deaths just a month ago. That is an increase of 17 cases
and 7 deaths.

It remains difficult to determine if overall Illinois nursing homes are doing a better job at keeping Covid-19 at bay. There are some that show improvement and others continue to struggle. The difficulty could be made even greater given the proposed changes by the IDPH on how nursing home
cases and deaths
will be reporting with a new category for “probable-related” cases.

Kevin T. Yen
Strom & Associates, Ltd.

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