Nursing homes will have to report COVID-19 outbreaks

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The outbreak at the Louisburg Nursing Center continues to grow. This as new federal regulations will requires facilities like this to inform residents, their families and the CDC about outbreaks.

“I was terrified when we got that phone call,” Christina Welch said.

Welch’s brother-in-law, TJ, calls the Louisburg Nursing Center home. She just learned he tested positive for COVID-19.

“This isn’t something that you, its not something you take lightly,” Welch explained.

The facility confirms 51 residents and 12 team members have coronavirus. Welch said the facility only has 61 residents. The Franklin County Health Department said 11 people have died.

According to the state’s website, nursing homes and residential care facilities statewide have nearly 1300 COVID-19 cases and 109 deaths. To put that in perspective, while they account for about 18% of overall cases, they make up 45% of all deaths.

Nursing homes weren’t required to release information about outbreaks, it was up to the county health department. But that will soon change.

“We want to make sure that patients and their families have full transparency and they know what’s going on,” Seema Verma, the Administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS said.

The Louisburg Nursing Center sent CBS 17 the following statement:

Louisburg Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center skilled nursing facility has had a total of fifty-one of our residents and twelve of our team members that have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
We received confirmation on Monday evening April 6th of the first positive test result.
Louisburg Healthcare staff have been treating all facility residents under “enhanced precautions,” wearing masks, gowns, gloves and goggles.
All of our staff continue to be screened prior to working each day. We continue to not permit visitors per the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the local health department.
We have been and continue to stay in very close communication with local and state health
officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps in compliance with CDC and State of North Carolina guidelines. Tests are administered based upon the direction of a resident’s attending physician.
This is a difficult time for everyone. Our staff have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and commitment to caring for our residents under trying circumstances.
Please know that we are strictly adhering to all directions from the CDC, local and state health departments.

CMS will require nursing homes to report coronavirus cases directly to the CDC every week or face a thousand dollar fine. They’ll also have to notify residents and their families of any spread.

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