Fix The Blunders And Oversights
To the Editor:
First let me say that it is gratifying to me to see how people pulled together to prevent this epidemic from claiming untold lives. There is no doubt there are real heroes who come through in every crisis and this pandemic is no exception.
This letter is about the specific problem related to nursing homes and the preplanning and organizational issues that turned out to be of life and death importance. I read with interest the article in The Bee (Friday, June 19, page 17, “Lawmakers Outline New Lines of Inquiry For Nursing Home Investigation”) related to the initiative the State of Connecticut is undertaking related to nursing homes and the pandemic. In reviewing numbers provided to me by the Western CT Area Agency on Aging I was struck by the fact that 10 percent of those residing in nursing homes were counted as fatalities with verified COVID-19, so one in ten. If you look at the numbers of cases of COVID-19 for the nursing homes throughout the State of Connecticut there are some surprising statistics. Some of the homes had as many as 75 percent of their inhabitants who tested positive for COVID: Enfield Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehab Center, 76 percent; Farmington Touchpoints at Farmington, 80 percent; Meriden Silver Springs Care Center, 76 percent; Niantic Bride Brook Health & Rehab Center, 76 percent; while others were below ten percent of inhabitants who tested positive for COVID: Bristol Ingraham Manor, 5 percent; Canaan Geer Nursing and rehab Center, 1 percent; Chester Chesterfields Health Center 0 percent; and more than 20 others. If some homes were able to hold the infection rate to 1 percent, I am unable to accept the fact that many had much higher rates of infection. I am sure some will immediately dismiss the differences and try to relate affluence of town, city vs rural, etc, but Newtown Rehab and Health Care Center, 63 percent; New Britain Jerome Home, 8 percent; New Canaan Waveny Care Center, 57 percent. You can find many examples that eliminate outside factors. I am sure the State and towns can analyze the numbers till they wear them out and hire consultants to draw graphs and tables, but I think they might find that preventive measures and well thought out protocols made the difference. They could pay each of those below ten percent (there are about 29 of them) to compile all of their preplanning and protocol information and then take that, cut out duplication, and produce a list of proven mandated best practices.
The whole thing could be done in couple of days. There is no doubt that there have been blunders and oversights at every level and it is too late to fix those blunders for the ten percent who perished, but we can assure better results for the future.
John S. Boccuzzi, Sr
57 Queen Street, Newtown June 22, 2020