June 8, 2020
Compliance Today Magazine
In mid-February 2020, Life Care Center of Kirkland — a Life Care Centers of America skilled nursing facility located in Kirkland, Washington — experienced an increase in residents and staff members demonstrating symptoms of febrile respiratory illnesses. After several of the residents were initially tested for influenza, one of the residents, a 73-year-old female resident with a history of coronary artery disease and other underlying conditions, was transported to the hospital as her respiratory symptoms deteriorated. Although the resident reported that she had not recently traveled nor been in any known contact with anyone with COVID-19, she ultimately tested positive and passed away on March 2, 2020.
An epidemiologic investigation of the facility reported 129 cases of COVID-19, which included 81 residents, 34 staff members, and 14 visitors and resulted in 23 deaths (although that number rose to 37 deaths linked to the facility by April 2). Such staggering numbers — and the swiftness with which the virus spread among the facility’s residents and staff—were also reported by other long-term care facilities (LTCFs) across the nation. As of the writing of this article, the number of reported COVID-19 cases at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other elder care centers spanned 73 facilities across 22 states, and a quarter of the total amount of COVID-19–related deaths in the US have occurred in such facilities.
Copyright 2020 Compliance Today Magazine, a publication of the Health Care Compliance Association
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