Statistics are showing that our senior population and vulnerable patients at personal care and long-term care facilities in the Philadelphia region are feeling the most severe impact of COVID-19.
According to statistics now being provided by the Chester County Health Department, more than half of Delaware County’s licensed facilities and personal care homes have reported cases of COVID-19.
There are 61 licensed facilities in the county. The coronavirus has been reported in 39 of those facilities.
A total of 464 COVID-19 cases have swept through those facilities so far, leading to 71 nursing home and long-term care deaths.
By comparison, the total number of COVID-19 reported confirmed cases in all of Delaware County is 2,698 with 105 deaths, meaning that nursing home fatalities account for 67.6 percent of all COVID-19 deaths reported in the county.
Containing the spread of COVID-19 is particularly difficult in nursing homes when those with chronic medical conditions live in a more confined group setting.
“Staff of long term care facilities and personal care homes are understandably feeling worn out and at times helpless; residents are fearful; and families are not feeling as connected to their loved ones,” said Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Casner, in a release announcing the new statistics.
The Chester County Health Department has been assisting long term care facilities and personal care homes with identifying cases, reviewing practices, and managing the spread of the coronavirus.
Now, several weeks into the pandemic, staff, residents and families also need emotional and mental health support.
“All of this takes its toll, so we are also working with staff in our human services departments, department of aging and department of mental health services, to provide holistic wellness support for everyone affected – staff, residents and families,” noted Casner.
Specific information on individual state-licensed facilities in Delaware County are not provided due to state laws regarding patient privacy.
This past weekend, a team of 18 nurses and medics from the Pennsylvania National Guard were called in for three days to offset staffing shortages at the Broomall Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.