Coronavirus Coverage - Nursing Homes and Care Facilities | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage - Nursing Homes and Care Facilities

photo of nursing home sign
Casey McDermott / NHPR

As New Hampshire continues to loosen nearly all public health restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, one sector remains on alert. Many long-term care facilities across the state have kept up limits on residents and visitors in recent weeks, even as vaccination rates rise and COVID-19 cases have fallen sharply in those settings. NHPR's health and equity reporter Alli Fam spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello about the tension within long-term care facilities.

Mask wearing sign in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A continuación, lee las noticias del lunes 26 de abril. También puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio. 

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ves algunas anotaciones diferentes.

Se reportan más casos de COVID-19 en New Hampshire el fin de semana, pero el promedio de casos diarios está disminuyendo

OSHA’s Meager COVID Response In N.H.

Mar 11, 2021
Allegra Boverman

When Walter Riley was first asked about Villa Crest Nursing Home in Manchester — the place where his fiancé, 68-year-old Marge Gardner, worked as a housekeeper before she died of Covid-19 — he could scarcely contain his bitterness.

Flickr Creative Commons

A continuación, lee las noticias del viernes 26 de febrero y una entrevista con un abogado de inmigración. También puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio. 

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes. 

Hay progreso en cuanto niveles de hospitalización en el estado, pero aun hay transmisión y algunos fallecidos por COVID-19 

A resident at the New Hampshire Veterans Home receives the COVID-19 vaccine
New Hampshire Veterans Home

With COVID-19 vaccination clinics for second doses nearly complete at long-term care facilities, the state says it will release new guidance in the coming weeks to standardize in-person visits from family and loved ones.

Karen Collman and Jamie Cunningham, during a pre-pandemic visit with their sister, Erica, who lives at Lafayette Center in Franconia.
Courtesy of Jamie Cunningham and Karen Collman

This time last month, Karen Collman was feeling cautiously optimistic. She knew that the first COVID-19 vaccines were coming to New Hampshire and, like many, saw the moment as a turning point — a sign that help was coming soon, at least to those most at risk.

Picture of vaccine vial
Wikimedia Commons

Board members at a Rye nursing home "cut in line" for a COVID-19 vaccine, according to New Hampshire health officials. 

Susan Simoneta via Flickr CC

New Hampshire’s long-term care facilities have been hit hard by the pandemic. About 80% of the state’s COVID-related deaths have occurred in those facilities. New legislation proposes to study whether the state should appoint an inspector general for nursing homes.

Oversight of nursing homes falls under the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. The federal government also provides oversight.

A typical Christmas celebration at Hanover Terrace Health and Rehabilitation includes lots of carolers, a buffet, and a hug-filled holiday party.

But because of the pandemic, Christmas celebrations will be quieter this year.

A resident at the New Hampshire Veterans Home receives the COVID-19 vaccine
New Hampshire Veterans Home

COVID-19 vaccines have arrived at New Hampshire's long-term care facilities and are beginning to roll out, after some concern about minimal communication and scheduling issues.

Long-term care facilities are getting their vaccines through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Nursing homes in New Hampshire have been particularly hard hit, with 79 percent of the state's deaths occurring at long term care facilities, the highest rate in the country.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Staff and residents at New Hampshire's long-term care facilities are slated to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens.

But some facilities say they've had minimal communication with their pharmacy partners, and still don't know when they'll get their vaccines.

Doctor's office photo
NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has issued a new executive order that would allow certain nursing students to apply for a temporary license to practice

The order applies to nursing students who will graduate on or before May 31 of next year. These students would be directly supervised while providing any health care services related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus Deaths At N.H. Veterans Home Rise To 28

Dec 8, 2020
nh.gov

The New Hampshire Veterans Home reported seven new resident deaths over the weekend, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths at the facility to 28.

An absentee ballot is placed into a white box.
Natalie Allen / Edgewood Centre

In the past six years, Kristen Gauthier, a resident relations manager at the Edgewood Centre in Portsmouth, would maybe get a handful of calls or emails from residents about voting.

But this year’s been different.

Courtesy of Dianne Connelly

Editor's note: Scroll to the end of this story to read our response to N.H. Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette's recent statements on NHPR’s reporting on COVID-19 and the state's long-term care facilities.

The last time Dianne Connelly hugged her mother, Anita Goodwin, was March 13. Had she known what the next few months would bring, she would have held on a little bit longer.

NHPR

An emergency stipend program meant to address the staffing crisis at New Hampshire's long-term care facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic lapsed at the end of last week.

But advocates say the need for the stipends is still acute, as facilities across the state struggle to hire and retain the workers they need to adequately care for their residents.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire's long-term care ombudsman is sounding the alarm about the harm that prolonged isolation is inflicting on residents of the state's long-term care facilities.

Courtesy of Dotty Miller

The coronavirus pandemic changed the way many of us do our jobs, including those of us here at NHPR - it's kept our reporters from getting out and recording your voices as much as usual.

So we asked people to record their own lives and share how daily life has been interrupted in big and small ways. That’s when we heard from Peter and Dotty Miller.

OSHA

Hackett Hill Center, a skilled nursing facility in Manchester, is facing a federal workplace safety investigation into the recent death of an employee. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 8, 2020

May 7, 2020

With longterm care facilities accounting for over 3 out of 4 COVID-19 deaths in the state, we discuss how the state is responding. Hospitals are beginning to allow elective surgeries and other procedures. And we go to the Seacoast and the state of Maine to see what “re-opening” efforts look like there.

Courtesy Sandra Gagnon

In New Hampshire, nowhere has the coronavirus been more deadly than at long-term care facilitiesNewly released data shows a staggering three-quarters of all COVID-19 deaths in the state have happened at nursing homes or similar congregate living centers.

To most people, those deaths have been anonymous — just one of the many statistics listed off by state officials at each press conference. NHPR’s Jason Moon reports on the human story behind one of those numbers: a woman named Simonne Gagnon.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

Newly released data shows that the toll of the coronavirus on New Hampshire's nursing homes, assisted living facilities and similar institutions is even worse than previously known, representing more than three-quarters of the state's COVID-19 deaths to-date.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The state will expand testing for COVID-19 to every long-term care facility in New Hampshire, as health officials announced three new outbreaks of the illness at nursing homes.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Two new COVID-19 clusters have been reported at New Hampshire nursing homes, as officials announced that long-term care facilities account for 60 percent of all coronavirus-related infections in the state. 

Emily Quirk/NHPR

New Hampshire’s long-term care facilities continue to grapple with outbreaks of COVID-19, as state officials say newly revised testing standards should make it easier to identify coronavirus infections and act quickly before they spread.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

As the number of coronavirus-related deaths at New Hampshire nursing homes continues to rise, state officials are instituting new policies they say will limit future infections at long-term care facilities, which have proven particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Courtesy of Facebook/Nashua Children's Home

The state’s residential facilities and detention center for youth are modifying operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but some advocates say change isn’t coming fast enough.

As of April 1, about 350 young people were in residential facilities operated by 13 different providers across the state. About half of the youth are involved in the juvenile justice system; the rest were placed by child protective services.

CDC

Another nursing home patient has died in New Hampshire due to COVID-19, the state health department confirmed Friday, as officials say they are working to provide more support for long-term care facilities that are struggling to keep infections from the novel coronavirus at bay.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu and State Epidemiologist Dr. Ben Chan said Thursday that recent data show restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus in New Hampshire are working, but they also acknowledged the limitations of any effort to predict the precise impact and timeline of the pandemic at a time when conditions are widely expected to worsen before they improve.

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