RIDOH say they remain aggressive against spike in COVID-19 cases at nursing homes


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Nursing home cases are seeing new clusters of COVID-19 with over 400 positive cases being reported in the last two weeks.

The R.I. Department of Health (RIDOH) says they’ve remained aggressive in testing staff and residents at congregate care facilities, continuing to emphasize that nursing homes have remained a priority.

“The fatality connected to congregate settings is significantly less, which is helpful, and a reflection of what’s been done differently over this time,” RIDOH Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said.

Alexander-Scott attributes this success to easier testing methods and the infection control measures already in place.

In the middle of the first wave of the pandemic, during the week of May 15, at least 665 COVID-19 infections were in congregate care homes. As of December 2, 410 positive cases are in these facilities.

As an added safety measure the RIDOH says they are reinstating regular testing of nursing home residents.

12 news reached out to the three nursing homes with the highest number of new cases: Overlook Nursing Home in Pascoag with 45-49 news cases, Cedar Crest in Cranston with 65-69 new cases, and Greenwood Center in Warwick with 35-39 new cases.

Overlook Nursing Home declined to comment, and Cedar Crest told 12 News it is following the guidance from the state, but had no further comment.

Greenwood Center gave 12 News the following statement:

At this time, Greenwood Center has had 62 residents and 30 staff members test positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by COVID-19 during this difficult time, especially the families of the two residents who passed away. The Center is currently performing whole house testing three to four times a week. During this pandemic, we have been stringent with restrictions and a whole host of other precautions.

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