For the first time since April 1, the Louisiana Department of Health is identifying all of the state’s nursing homes with COVID-19 cases.
Along with the names of facilities, the LDH is releasing the number of residents and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 and the number of residents who have died from the disease.
The release only covers the state’s 279 LDH-licensed nursing homes, and does not account for other long-term care facilities like assisted living homes and mental health centers.
Just a quick look at the statistical leaders shows the virus is having a serious impact in facilities all over the state.
The Highland Place Rehab and Nursing Center in Caddo Parish has the highest case count at 124. The J. Michael Morrow Memorial Nursing Home in St. Landry Parish has the highest death toll at 34. And in Jefferson Parish, 40 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Wynhoven Health Care Center.
So far, nearly 40 percent of the people who have died of COVID-19 in the state were residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Edwards said state health officials were unable to keep up with the detailed reporting of nursing home cases in the early days of the outbreak, but the state’s shift from “mitigation to suppression” of the virus made Monday’s release possible.
“We, as you know, are ramping up our contact tracing across the state,” Edwards said. “I think this allows us to move to a new system of reporting as well. Not only will be able to share the individual names of nursing homes … but also other data points as well.”
Health officials say even as other parts of the state start to reopen, nursing homes will remain locked down, and the LDH is pushing for comprehensive testing of residents and staff in all congregate settings.