The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at individual long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania.
The data was released weeks after advocates, including the state’s chief fiscal watchdog, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, urged greater transparency.
The data includes the number of resident cases, number of employee cases and number of deaths that have occurred at each facility.
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said releasing data on individual long-term care facilities was only the latest of many steps taken to address the crisis in those places, which account for nearly 70% of virus deaths in the state.
“We have been reacting from the very beginning” of the crisis with measures focused on the approximately 2,000 facilities, Dr. Levine said in a press reléase.
“Long-term care facility residents are among the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and we want their families to have the latest information on what is going on in the facilities in which their loved ones reside.”
According to the Health Secretary, the serious situation imposed by virus demands an ongoing effort.
“COVID-19 is a particularly challenging situation for these settings as they care for residents with serious medical conditions. We will continue to work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents through education, resources and testing.
Levine said facilities with less than five cases or deaths will have their information redacted to “protect patient privacy.”
The state health department numbers show there are 13,813 resident cases of COVID-19 in nursing and personal care homes across Pennsylvania. Among employees, there are 2,191 diagnosed cases. That brings the entire total to 16,003.
One way the Wolf administration says it will protect nursing home residents is by testing patients and staff in long-term care facilities.
According to the numbers released Tuesday, by far the worst outbreak is in Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center in Beaver County where the state reports 358 coronavirus cases in residents. There are 76 people who have died there. The facility with the second-highest case count is Northampton County Home Gracedale with 205 cases.
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