Maine Nursing Homes Struggle with COVID-19 Compliance

Facility residents account for 60 percent of state’s deaths

November 16, 2020

Many of the nation’s nursing homes have become hotspots for COVID-19 due to the vulnerability of their residents who live with a range of medical conditions and often compromised immune systems. While many types of facilities have curtailed operations and limited access in an effort to limit or stop the spread of the coronavirus among occupants and visitors, nursing homes in one state continue to present obstacles to these measures.

A number of nursing homes in Maine this summer still were not following rules meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus, even after more than a dozen facilities suffered COVID-19 outbreaks in April and May, according to the Bangor Daily News. The current spike in COVID-19 cases across the state highlights the possibility that the virus again could slip into nursing homes and cause more outbreaks.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has found violations of COVID-19 rules at 16 of the state’s 93 nursing homes. Most of the violations occurred throughout the summer, after the coronavirus’ acute toll on nursing homes had become clear, according to DHHS records. Residents of long-term care facilities have accounted for 89 of the state’s 146 coronavirus-related deaths.

 

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