LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- COVID-19 cases have been reported by 197 nursing homes and 77 other adult residential facilities in Louisiana.
Over half of Acadiana’s COVID-19 deaths have been nursing home residents. Statewide, one-third of covid-19 deaths have originated inside nursing homes.
”I think in Louisiana, nearly 40% of all COVID-related deaths have come from nursing homes and adult living facilities, and that should concern all of us regardless of whether or not we have someone who lives there,” Denise Bottcher, AARP Louisiana State director, said.
As of May 13, 3,840 COVID-19 cases were reported among residents of nursing homes in Louisiana. 501 COVID-19 cases were reported among residents of other adult residential facilities.
There have been 863 COVID-19 deaths reported among residents of nursing homes with 58 COVID-19 deaths being reported among residents of other adult residential facilities.
“We’ve known from the beginning that nursing homes are one of the places that are most conducive to the spread of the virus and unfortunately it is inhabited by residents who are most vulnerable to the virus,” in his May 13 press briefing, Governor John Bel Edwards said.
Bottcher sent a letter to Governor Edwards and Louisiana Department of Health officials asking for a plan to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“The testing of staff and residents, not just daily, but daily having a plan in place so not only are they tested, but those tests are also prioritized at the labs so they can have a rapid response to strategize to have better isolation procedures in place,” explained Bottcher.
Regardless of whether or not residents and staff in Louisiana’s nursing homes are symptomatic, Bottcher believes there should be universal testing for them all.
“Transparency is paramount,” She said. “That the state publicly provide the names of those facilities that have cases so that families know that the communities know so that leaders in the communities know so that we can prioritize our response so that the community can respond.”