ctnewsjunkie file photo
Rep. Robyn Porter outside Avery Heights in Hartford (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

HARTFORD, CT — Under its new reporting mechanism, the state of Connecticut reported Thursday that six more nursing home patients and one staff member have died over the past week. 

The staff member who died worked at Salmonbrook Rehab & Nursing in Glastonbury. The nursing home patient deaths occurred at Essex Meadows Health Center in Essex, Wadsworth Glen Health Care Center in Middletown, West River Rehabilitation Center in Milford, Montowese Health & Rehabilitation Center in North Haven, Notre Dame Health and Rehabilitation in Norwalk, Norwich Sub-Acute and Nursing in Norwich, and Windsor Health and Rehab in Windsor.

As of June 30, there have been 2,743 nursing home deaths in Connecticut related to COVID-19 – that’s over 63.4% of all COVID deaths in the state.

Among the 83 assisted living facilities that have reported at least one positive COVID case, 14 percent of the 7,455 residents tested positive and 370 have died, according to the Department of Public Health.

The department reported that there were 58 new confirmed or suspected cases of COVID in Connecticut’s 215 nursing homes. There were also 42 new cases among the staff at the nursing homes.

On June 25, the state stopped reporting the cumulative number of cases; the state is now reporting the current number of cases among residents and staff on a weekly basis.

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

“Moving forward, as we continue to 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.”

Josh Geballe, Gov. Ned Lamont’s chief operating officer, said two weeks ago that if a nursing home can remain free of COVID-19 infections for two consecutive weeks they will no longer face the mandatory testing requirements under Lamont’s executive order.

“If you have facility that tests completely negative, both staff and residents for 14 consecutive days, then the repetitive testing is no longer required,” Geballe said outside the Community Health Center of New Britain.