HARTFORD, Connecticut, USA (AP) – A handful of states may have found a way to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes by turning them into “recovery centers” for residents who have left the hospital but may still be contagious or not immune. .
Critics fear affecting the frail and residents by taking them elsewhere to make room in nursing homes. But some public health experts and activists see potential to fight infection and free up more space in hospitals. Additionally, many family members embraced the concept as a way to protect their loved ones.
Debra Ellis is debating whether to take his 87-year-old wife home if a case of coronavirus is recorded at her nursing home, which has currently reported no infection. Ellis lives in Meriden, Connecticut, a state where three nursing homes, of the nine that are planned, have been set up for patients recovering from COVID-19 in recent weeks.
“It’s terrible, the anxiety, you almost feel like they’re easy targets,” Ellis said.
Although nursing homes isolate residents with infectious diseases, such as the flu, activists consider the idea of reserving the entire facility necessary, because of how quickly and easily the coronavirus can spread.
The idea has been presented in other states, such as Massachusetts and Utah, but not on a large scale as it has been done in Connecticut.
It is too soon to have data showing whether keeping patients discharged from the hospital in a separate facility to recover until they test negative for the virus will change the infection rate inside nursing homes, but Connecticut authorities said which has helped free up space in hospitals. As of Friday, state authorities said about 100 patients had been discharged and taken to recovery houses.