INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana heath officials plan to collect and release to the public statistics
on coronavirus infections and deaths at individual nursing homes after
refusing to do so for more than two months.
The state will have
long-term care facilities submit information on when COVID-19 virus cases
occurred, how many residents and employees have died from the illness, how
many have recovered and demographics for those infected.
Dan Rusyniak, chief
medical officer for Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, said
Wednesday he expected preliminary data will be released in mid-July, with a
user-friendly website being developed in the following weeks.
At least 1,166
residents of 178 Indiana nursing homes have died with the coronavirus,
according to a weekly update released Monday by the state health department.
That represents about 45% of the state’s total coronavirus-related deaths,
with at least seven nursing homes around the state having more than 20
Eric Holcomb and other state officials in April stopped identifying specific
nursing homes with outbreaks, despite complaints from relatives of home
residents about a lack of communication about illnesses and deaths. State
officials have maintained that those facilities face federal and state
requirements to notify the families about their COVID-19 status.
across the country have been devastated by COVID-19 deaths as elderly people
and those with serious health troubles living in nursing homes are among the
most at-risk from severe illness due to the coronavirus.
Rusyniak said the
state’s policy change comes after the largest associations that represent
and lobby for long-term care facilities and AARP expressed their support for
providing facility-level information.
“As we have all
learned, responding to this pandemic requires us to continuously evaluate
our approaches, and when appropriate, to change them,” Rusyniak said. “This
is one of those times.”