Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has come under fire for moving her mother out of a personal care home as deaths skyrocket in those homes and nursing homes from the Wuhan coronavirus.

From Newsweek:

Outbreaks in Pennsylvania long-term care facilities make up nearly 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths and 21 percent of the state’s positive cases of the virus.

In a Wednesday press conference, Levine announced that of the 58,698 confirmed cases statewide, 12,408 cases are among residents of long-term facilities, including nursing homes and personal care homes. Of the total 3,943 deaths in Pennsylvania, 2,705 have occurred in residents in long-term facilities.

It’s important to note that personal care homes do not fall under Levine’s department.

However, some have thought of the message it sends to people “when a close relative of the person tasked with overseeing those types of facilities doesn’t choose to stay in one.”

It doesn’t help that Levine ordered these long-term facilities “to continue to accept coronavirus patients who had been discharged from hospitals but unable to return to their homes.”

Plus, quite a few public health officials recommend families do not remove people from long-term care facilities:

Most public health officials advise against removing family members from elder care facilities because many residents require a level of care that may not be feasible outside those settings. Similarly, if the individual is moved into a multi-generational household, they could be at greater risk of exposure than if they remained confined to a room at a nursing facility with fewer contacts.

“Moving an older adult from a long-term care center is risky and could have long-lasting impacts,” geriatrician David Gifford, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, told AARP.


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