There may be more COVID deaths at nursing homes than we know
There may have been more COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the state than we know about. The state’s health chief made the admission to lawmakers during testimony on Thursday.
Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel’s testimony before the state House Oversight Committee came after a partisan report suggested the state left out some deaths at nursing homes.
Hertel told lawmakers there was no miscount.
“What the nursing homes are reporting are accurate,” she said, adding they had no “reason or incentive to hide [deaths].”
However, she did admit there could have been deaths that were not reported to the state. Of the 311 long-term care facilities that are required to report deaths to the state, 38 have failed to do so. Also, facilities with fewer than 12 residents aren’t required to report deaths.
Hertel said that could mean some deaths are not accounted for.
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