In Detroit findings so far, 87% of retirement homes have cases of COVID-19

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Of the 79 senior citizen apartment complexes that the Detroit Department of Health has contacted so far, 69 have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The department swept multi-family housing in Detroit, conducting resident testing for the coronavirus in high-risk settings.

The city has finished testing residents of 26 nursing homes, which have been hit hard in Detroit and across the country. Then he tested 36 other long-term care facilities. Detroit is now turning its attention to the city’s approximately 10,000 self-catering senior housing units. The ministry estimates that there are more than 100 such facilities.

The health department is planning its senior housing strategy and plans to disclose more later this week, Denise Fair, Detroit’s public health official, said during the city’s regular briefing on responding to complaints. coronavirus Monday. She is leading the testing effort.

So far, 87% of seniors’ residences contacted by the city have recorded cases of COVID-19, according to health department officials late Monday afternoon. The number is constantly changing as the department continues its investigation.

“This is going to be a huge undertaking,” Fair said. “Our goal is to be just as aggressive as we were with nursing homes, and we still want to serve as a role model to fight COVID-19 in these gathering places, where this virus can wreak havoc with serious and fatal consequences. “

Nursing homes are generally at higher risk than other less medically intensive long-term care facilities and independent living communities for seniors. But older people and those with underlying conditions are more likely to develop serious complications, as are those who live together.

Since last week, more than 250 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19. When the city tested the nearly 2,000 residents of Detroit nursing homes, about 26% came back positive, officials said.

The Detroit Department of Health completed these tests with help from the United States Centers for Disease Control, first responders, employee volunteers from the Henry Ford Health System, and medical students from Wayne State University. It then tested 36 other long-term care facilities, such as adult foster homes and homes for the aged, completing that process on Saturday – almost a week before the self-imposed May 15 deadline. With half of those results, the infection rate is 9%, Fair said.

“If you look at what’s going on now, over 90% of the people we’ve lost in the past two weeks are over 60,” Mayor Mike Duggan said at the briefing Monday. “And so we are going to focus our efforts more and more on our older citizens. It does not matter whether it is a city-owned senior center or a private center for the elderly and people. an assisted living facility, any place where people over 60 are grouped together, the Ministry of Health will send teams to … ”

The city of Detroit has so far confirmed a total of 9,881 coronavirus cases. As of Monday, 1,197 residents of Detroit died. Of those who died, 81.7% were 60 or older, according to data from the Detroit Health Department.

Detroit was considered a “hotspot” but has seen a decline in recent weeks. In the past three weeks, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has fallen from 167 in the week of April 18 to 93 in the week of April 25 and 41 last week, according to city figures.


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