(UPDATED) “COVID-19 Deaths” in Schuylkill County at Nursing Homes
(UPDATE: Apparently, the chart presented in this article is wrong. However, it is the data provided to the public by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health. Broad Mountain reached out to The Canary upon seeing this article and said they’ve had 0 positive cases among patients and staff and, of course, 0 deaths associated with COVID-19. Broad Mountain is actively addressing this data entry error with the DOH – as of June 23.
To be clear: Broad Mountain does not accuse the state of manipulating figures. Administrator John Tarson tells The Canary he believes it’s an error the state likely made on a simple report that the facility is required to fill out regularly through the pandemic.)
More than half the Schuylkill County deaths listed as COVID-19 as the cause happened in long-term care facilities.
According to June 20 data presented by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, 25 of Schuylkill County’s 43 reported COVID-19 deaths happened at long-term care facilities. That equal 58.1%. Those include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes.
COVID-19 at Schuylkill County Long Term Care Facilities
Here’s a look at the data collected from Pennsylvania Dept. of Health LTC facilities in Schuylkill County.
And at the one personal care home in Schuylkill County regulated by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services, Providence Place in Pottsville, there are 0 reported COVID-19 deaths.
Again, this is all from data provided to the public by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health. That same data shows 25 deaths in Schuylkill County long-term care facilities on this page: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/LTCF-Data.aspx. We don’t know where the other 6 deaths are being reported.
It should also be noted that many of the nursing homes listed under DOH control in Schuylkill County still don’t have any data recorded. Chalk up another reason why it’s difficult to put much stock in any numbers from the state’s Dept. of Health.
Schuylkill County Below Pennsylvania Trend
According to the DOH data available on Saturday, there are 6,399 deaths in Pennsylvania attributed to COVID-19. Of those, 4,345 happened in nursing homes and other long term care facilities. That’s 68%.
Pennsylvania’s rate of nursing home deaths compared to all COVID-19 deaths is among the highest in the country.
That’s due to the administration of Governor Tom Wolf ordering nursing homes to admit hospital patients in stable condition but who still tested positive for the virus.
Critics of this plan say nursing homes weren’t equipped or prepared to isolate these returning patients into the nursing homes, thus preventing them from spreading the disease health officials say is highly contagious.
As Wolf continues to heap praise on his administration for its handling of the pandemic thus far – and punish people who opposed him – it’s a good time to remember that one of his biggest decisions to respond to the pandemic was likely his worst.