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178 coronavirus cases in Nevada nursing homes, prisons

Updated April 14, 2020 - 10:26 am

Nevada has reported 178 COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths from the disease occurring in nursing homes, assisted living centers and other institutional settings, including prisons, according to a new tracking tool unveiled Monday.

The new data dashboard showed 93 residents and 85 staff members infected among 32 facilities across the state, 24 of them in Clark County, six in Washoe County, and one each in Carson City and White Pine County; 17 are skilled nursing centers, where a total of 100 residents and staff have contracted COVID-19 and 12 deaths have occurred.

Institutional living facilities that serve seniors and others at higher risk of the most serious infections, as well as prisons, where incarcerated people have been unable to adhere to social distancing guidelines, have been hard hit by the easily spread virus.

Analysts, compliance officers and epidemiologists within the state Department of Health and Human Services are using the data “to identify, control and contain the spread of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable residents living within skilled nursing and assisted living facilities,” according to a release from the state’s COVID-19 response team.

“This information will strengthen our ability to identify cases and work with partners to address those as quickly as possible,” department Director Richard Whitley said in a statement. The department did not make Whitley available Monday for additional questions regarding the data or the state’s response to it.

The dashboard breaks out individual facilities by name. The worst hit thus far is Willow Springs Center, a residential treatment facility for youth in Reno, with 51 cases — 32 residents and 19 staff — and one death, a staff member.

Other hard-hit facilities: Advanced Health Care of Summerlin, with eight cases total, including six residents, and two deaths; Horizon Health and Rehabilitation Center in Las Vegas, with 38 cases involving 14 residents and 24 staff; Lakeside Health &Wellness Suites in Reno, with six cases including three residents and four deaths; and Merrill Gardens at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, with 4 cases, all involving residents, and two deaths. One child care facility, Sierra Vista Children’s Academy in Carson City, reported one resident case.

Six cases are reported in four correctional facilities — Casa Grande Transitional Housing, Ely State Prison, High Desert State Prison, and Southern Desert Correctional Center — with six staff affected.

The figures were being frequently updated Monday, and timing discrepancies appeared in some of the reporting. The state website, for example, listed six cases at the Lakeside facility in Reno. But at a news briefing Monday morning, Washoe County Health Officer Kevin Dick cited 36 cases there, based on the latest state data.

“We’re working to coordinate with the state on what they’re finding in those investigations, but they have the lead, as the licensing authority over those facilities,” Dick said.

Statewide, Nevada on Monday had recorded more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases and 120 deaths. Institutional cases represent nearly 6 percent of the state case total and 15 percent of statewide deaths.

The U.S. government rates thousands of Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes nationwide and provides searchable inspection reports and a grading system. Grades for the 17 such facilities in Nevada with COVID-19 outbreaks tracked in the new state data range from best to worst.

Lakeside Health &Wellness in Reno was cited for 46 health deficiencies from March 2017 through February 2020 and received a “much below average” health inspection rating, the lowest, from Medicare.

Horizon Health and Rehab in Las Vegas was cited for 46 health deficiencies from March 2017 through February 2020 and received an “average” rating.

And Advanced Health Care of Summerlin received a “much above average” grade, the top rating. It was cited for 20 health deficiencies from March 2017 through February 2020. None were for inadequate infection control measures.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter. Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @DavidsonLVRJ on Twitter.

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