Representatives of the nursing home and assisted living industry are urging residents “to do their part” and help keep the current spread of the coronavirus low in Connecticut as a way to prevent a resurgence in long-term care facilities.
They credited social distancing, hand washing, the wearing of masks with the decreasing rate of infections and deaths in nursing homes and assisted living centers, which have borne more than half of the state's deaths.
“We know from the new research that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community is directly related to the incidence of the virus entering our congregate settings. Therefore, all Connecticut residents should know that when they follow the guidance, they are helping to defeat COVID-19 in our state’s nursing homes and assisted living communities," said Mag Morelli, president of LeadingAge Connecticut and Matt Barrett, president and CEO the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities/Connecticut Center for Assisted Living, in a joint statement.
Data released Thursday evening show there were 58 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes from June 24-30 and six COVID-associated deaths. During the pandemic, there have been a total of at least 2,789 deaths in nursing homes, which represents about 64% of the state's total deaths.
In assisted living facilities, there have been 1,068 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 370 confirmed or probable COVID-associated deaths, a figure that includes three people who had died since last week.
“The pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to secure protections for older adults and their care providers,” the industry representatives said.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or lead to death.
In other coronavirus news in Connecticut:
HARTFORD COUNTY DEATHS
Hartford County surpassed Fairfield County for the first time Friday in the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus, despite having 5,000 fewer positive test results, according to the latest statewide data.
COVID-19 has now killed 1,378 people in Hartford County in the north-central part of the state. That's one more death than in Fairfield County, which borders New York and was initially the state's epicenter for the virus. Nearly 16,760 people in Fairfield County have tested positive for the virus, compared with about 11,730 in Hartford County.
State officials have said the actual number of people who have contracted the virus is likely higher than the number of positive test results, which may help explain why Hartford County now has more deaths.
Connecticut is one of several states seeing a significant downward trend in cases. There were 95 people hospitalized in the state as of Friday, six fewer than Thursday and down from a peak of more than 1,970 in late April. Of nearly 10,400 new test results reported, only 71 people tested positive, or seventh-tenths of 1%.
A total of 46,717 people in the state have tested positive for the virus and 4,335 have died.
DMV ROAD TESTS RESUME
Road testing services for driver’s licenses, as well as new vehicle registrations, have resumed at select Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles locations. Knowledge testing for motorcycle learner’s permits is scheduled to resume on July 7 at DMV’s Bridgeport and Waterbury locations. Drivers can make appointments for in-person visits online.
DMV has been working with driving schools since late last month to reduce its backlog of road tests that was created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency has been able to schedule nearly 1,000 tests through June 30. Customers whose appointments were canceled due to the pandemic are encouraged to reschedule their appointments online.
MORE COURTS TO REOPEN
The state's Judicial Branch plans to resume operations at eight additional courthouses on July 20. That will bring the total number of courts in operation to 25.
The courts include the Geographical Area No. 2 courthouse in Bridgeport; the Community Court and Housing Sessions courthouse in Hartford; and the Judicial District courthouses in Meriden, Norwich, Waterbury, Hartford and Rockville. Details about what's reopening can be found online.
Associated Press writer Dave Collins contributed to this report.