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HARTFORD, CT — For the first time since the middle of April, the state of Connecticut changed how it reports its nursing home data related to COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Instead of reporting the cumulative number of cases, the state is now reporting the current number of cases among residents and staff.

“Going forward, the DPH weekly nursing home report will use data submitted to NHSN, which reflects the number of cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 that occurred in the past week among both residents and staff,” according to the Department of Public Health.

On Thursday, DPH reported that in the past week there were 20 new deaths, and 73 new confirmed or suspected cases of COVID in Connecticut’s 215 nursing homes. There was also 64 new confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 among the staff at the nursing homes.

Gov. Ned Lamont mandated testing of nursing home staff well into the pandemic, on June 1. The testing didn’t have to start until June 14 and is expected to last through the duration of the public health emergency.

As of June 23, there have been 2,739 nursing home deaths in Connecticut related to COVID-19 – that’s over 64% of all COVID deaths in the state. However, the new state reporting no longer provides this cumulative count across the duration of the pandemic.

Mag Morelli, president of LeadingAge Connecticut and Matt Barrett, president and CEO the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities/Connecticut Center for Assisted Living, said the numbers show that the nursing home and assisted living sectors are recovering.

“Moving forward, as we implement the weekly testing of staff, this data will inform the public health officials and the nursing homes in their continued efforts to combat the virus,” Morelli and Barrett said. “The pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to secure protections for older adults and their care providers.”

Lamont’s office is also contracting out an independent review of the nursing home response to the virus, which is expected to be completed by the end of August. 

Click here to download the new report.