Covid is devastating nursing homes. Some staff say they are unprotected.

The latest surge of coronavirus cases is fueling a record number of nursing home outbreaks, as the virus is spreading quickly inside long-term care facilities in the Midwest and the Great Plains while also re-emerging in facilities swamped by the first wave of the virus.



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More than 1,300 nursing homes across the U.S. reported having three or more confirmed Covid-19 cases during the first week of November — the highest number ever reported in a single week, according to an NBC News analysis of federal data. The figure does not include outbreaks at assisted living facilities, which the federal government does not track.

Many of the new nursing home infections are emerging in the Midwestern states where the virus is besieging the broader community, including Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, which reported some of the country’s biggest weekly increases in suspected and

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Where Have Billions in COVID Aid for Nursing Homes Gone?


‘There are just so many ways to hide this stuff’

But the aid packages to large for-profit operations have raised eyebrows among industry watchdogs. Brian Lee, executive director of the Families for Better Care advocacy group, points to Ensign Group, a publicly traded skilled nursing company that in August announced it was returning all $110 million it had received through the Provider Relief Fund. The organization enjoyed strong profitability during the second quarter of the year. “We know that there’s a high degree of responsibility that accompanies government reimbursement,” CEO Barry Port said on an earnings call.

Despite the pandemic, Ensign’s stock price has soared to record levels. Zacks Equity Research recently ranked Ensign an “incredible growth stock,” estimating its cash flow growth is up more than 18 percent over the year. “They’re trading at the highest level they’ve ever traded at, in the middle of a pandemic in which

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UPDATE 1-Swedish watchdog finds serious failures in COVID care at nursing homes

* One fifth of nursing home patients not assessed by doctor

* Some patients put on end-of-life treatment without positive test

* Problems systemic and evident in all Sweden’s 21 regions

* Prime minister says findings ‘very serious’ (Adds detail, background, reaction)

STOCKHOLM, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Sweden’s health watchdog said on Tuesday it had uncovered “serious shortcomings” in COVID-19 care for residents of nursing homes where thousands have died, turning the spotlight on the country’s light-touch pandemic strategy.

Nursing homes were ravaged by the initial wave of the coronavirus, prompting Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s sombre admission in May that the country failed to protect its elderly.

Known for its rejection of lockdowns and masks, Sweden has suffered many times more COVID-19 deaths per capita than its neighbours – though fewer than countries such as Spain – a failure authorities have in part blamed on inadequate controls and care at

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Beyond COVID: Neglect, isolation are also killers in nursing homes | Articles

The more the virus spread through a home, Kaye found, the greater the level of deaths recorded for other reasons. This suggested that care suffered as workers were consumed with attending to COVID-19 patients or were left short-handed as the pandemic infected employees themselves.

“The health care system operates kind of on the edge, just on the margin, so that if there’s a crisis, we can’t cope,” Kaye said. “There are not enough people to look after the nursing home residents.”

Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes, disputed that there has been a widespread inability of staff to care for residents and dismissed estimates of tens of thousands of non-COVID-19 deaths as “speculation.”

“There have been some really sad and disturbing stories that have come out,” Gifford said, “but we’ve not seen that widespread.”

Families around the country, though, say

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Swedish Watchdog Finds Serious Failures in COVID Care at Nursing Homes | World News

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s health watchdog said on Tuesday it had uncovered “serious shortcomings” in COVID-19 care for residents of nursing homes where thousands have died, increasing pressure on the country’s unorthodox pandemic strategy.

Nursing homes were ravaged by the initial wave of the coronavirus, prompting Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s sombre admission in May that the country failed to protect its elderly.

Known for its rejection of lockdowns and masks, Sweden has suffered many times more COVID-19 deaths per capita than its neighbours – though fewer than countries such as Spain – a failure authorities have in part blamed on inadequate controls and care at nursing homes.

The Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO), a government agency supervising healthcare and social services, has spent months investigating care at nursing homes after a flood of complaints from relatives and staff.

“In its investigation, IVO has identified serious short-comings at regional level

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Coronavirus live news: Swedish nursing homes criticised for Covid handling; Germany mulls 10-people Christmas rule | World news





Limit of six people at Spanish Christmas gatherings

The Spanish government is planning to limit Christmas and New Year gatherings to six people and to set a 1am to 6am curfew for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, according to a leaked document seen by several Spanish newspapers.

“With respect to family gatherings, we recommend they be limited to members of the same household. Should there be an external guest who does not usually live with the family, gatherings should include a maximum of six people and preventative measures must be followed,” says the draft.

Spain, which has been under a state of emergency since late October, is hoping to have what the government calls “a very substantial part” of the population vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of March 2021, and will set up 13,000 vaccination points to facilitate the process.

It emerged on Monday

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Millions of Americans Expect to Lose Their Homes as Covid Rages

(Bloomberg) — Millions of Americans expect to face eviction by the end of this year, adding to the suffering inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic raging across the U.S.

About 5.8 million adults say they are somewhat to very likely to face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months, according to a survey completed Nov. 9 by the U.S. Census Bureau. That accounts for a third of the 17.8 million adults in households that are behind on rent or mortgage payments.



map: Dark Winter


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Dark Winter

The CARES Act, signed into law last March, allows homeowners to pause mortgage payments for up to a year if they experience hardship as a result of the pandemic. Borrowers who signed up at the start of the program could face foreclosure by March.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide temporary suspension on evictions — aimed at stemming the spread of

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RI nursing homes want more COVID testing as virus surges

Brian Amaral
 
| The Providence Journal

A trade group representing nursing homes in Rhode Island is renewing its call for more COVID testing — of hospital patients, of doctors and nurses, and of other people who come and go from nursing homes. 

The Rhode Island Health Care Association said Monday that the state now only requires one negative coronavirus test before a hospital patient is sent to a nursing home. Over the spring, the association said, someone going from a hospital to a nursing home needed to test negative twice. But the state cut that back to one negative test in August, the association said. 

“Bringing an unknown COVID positive patient through our doors to be quarantined puts residents and staff at risk as it raises the risk of spread in the home,” Scott Fraser, the association’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “Risking other people’s lives is

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COVID, low taxes spark South Florida business moves

Anthony De Yurre had “the Miami talk” down to a stump speech.

The Bilzin Sumberg partner had become the point person at the firm for fielding questions from people contemplating uprooting themselves from wherever they were living and making the move to the Magic City.

“I think a lot of people were playing with the idea, or considering it at some point in time — the cost of Miami, the opportunities in Miami, doing their due diligence,” said the lawyer.

After the Trump Administration eliminated deductions on state and local taxes, the frequency of “the talk” increased, De Yurre said. But it was still mostly with older workers looking to move up their retirement schedules.

Then came 2020.

Sparked in part — but not entirely — by COVID, local real estate professionals like De Yurre say they are receiving more inquiries than ever from businesses and individuals looking to land

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L.A. home sales soar as California’s housing market defies Covid



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When it comes to L.A. real estate, “Sunset” is still selling — even nine months into the pandemic.

With interest rates at some of their lowest levels ever, many renters are reassessing their housing options, said Jason Oppenheim, star of “Selling Sunset,” a Netflix reality series featuring a team of brokers and the glitzy properties they’re selling across Los Angeles.

“Let’s face it, the one per cent are doing very well right now, with markets at all-time highs and interest rates extremely low,” said Oppenheim, who runs his Oppenheim Group brokerage along Sunset Boulevard, which the show’s built around. “Houses are affordable right now and people want to get out of their cramped apartments.”

Los Angeles isn’t alone. Since Covid-19 was declared a public health emergency in March, home-buyers across California’s biggest cities have shown no let-up when it comes to betting on real

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