Del. Patrick Hope, who represents parts of Arlington in the Virginia House of Delegates, is pushing the state to be more transparent about coronavirus outbreaks.
Hope, an attorney who works in the medical field, went on a tweetstorm last night, calling out the Virginia Dept. of Health for keeping the location of individual outbreaks — particularly hard-hit long-term care facilities — confidential, while also failing to scale up testing in vulnerable communal settings.
“We should be reporting which facilities that have an outbreak and we should be testing 100 percent of residents and staff,” he said.
While Arlington County officials have repeatedly declined to release more information about outbreaks in response to inquiries from ARLnow, Hope said it’s the state that is blocking the release of such information
“VDH is not allowing anyone to report, citing anonymity of the patient and confidentiality,” he told ARLnow.
In Arlington, at least seven residents of Brookdale Senior Living have died after contracting COVID-19, we reported last week. NBC 4 has reported 26 cases at ManorCare, on S. Carlin Springs Road in Arlington. Local outbreaks have also been reported at Sunrise Senior Living and Recency Care of Arlington.
Regency Care, in Pentagon City, has been particularly hard hit, according to multiple tipsters. One said a relative who was a Regency Care resident died on Sunday.
“She had a fever for a week before Regency Care told her family. Her children were calling to check on her and being told she was fine,” the tipster said. “They finally sent her to the hospital where her care greatly improved, but her condition did not improve. By the time Regency Care transferred her to Virginia Hospital Center she was dying.”
Another tipster described quitting in protest of a managerial decision, along with difficult working conditions at the facility.
“People are dying,” the self-described former employee said. ARLnow is aware of at least one additional death at Regency Care on Wednesday.
As of publication time, administrators at Regency Care did not return a call placed by ARLnow this morning. On its Facebook page, Regency Care has been lauding its employees as “super heroes” providing compassionate care at a difficult time.
Statewide, outbreaks at long-term care facilities account for 3,109 of Virginia’s 21,570 COVID-19 cases, and 59% of the state’s 769 deaths, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.
In Arlington, there have been 282 coronavirus cases associated with 12 outbreaks in the county, 7 of which are at long-term care facilities. As of Thursday, there were 1,248 reported COVID-19 cases, 222 hospitalizations and 52 deaths in Arlington. Fourty-eight of the people infected have been healthcare workers.
VDH does not break down the number of deaths in long-term care facilities by locality, though last week Alexandria revealed that a majority of fatalities in the city were associated with such facilities.
Maryland, by contrast, recently made public a database of coronavirus cases at assisted care facilities, showing where the state’s more than 6,000 cases and 804 confirmed COVID-related deaths at long-term care facilities happened. The District has been releasing similar data since mid-April.
State Sen. Scott Surovell, another Northern Virginia Democrat, joined Hope in calling for an approach more like Virginia’s neighbors.
“I’ve always found that the more information you put out, the less misbehavior you get — and the better people’s actions are if they know what’s going on,” Surovell told NBC 4.
Hope’s full tweet thread is below.
Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Over half of all the outbreaks in Virginia have occurred in congregate living facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The nature of this coronavirus–which is particularly harmful to older adults and people with multiple chronic conditions–has left residents vulnerable.
That’s why we should be placing a greater emphasis on these facilities right now.
We should be reporting which facilities that have an outbreak and we should be testing 100 percent of residents and staff.
CMS is starting to require nursing homes to report cases and deaths — even if VDH won’t. The public is going to get the information.
But it’s just for nursing homes – not assisted living or other forms of congregate living. @VDHgov should reconsider its position to keep this information secret and report all of it.
Lastly, but most importantly, we should also test 100 percent of these facilities – residents and staff. Not just some – all of them. Like now.
Pentagon City Rotating Restaurant Reopens — “Skydome, a unique rotating restaurant, has reopened atop the DoubleTree by Hilton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington. The restaurant, which closed during the COVID-19…
Good Thursday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 21133 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
This past week saw 22 homes sold in Arlington. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $275,000 while the most expensive was…
Many parents of children at Key Elementary School are outraged at the way a possible threat of gun violence by a student was handled by administrators.
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.
Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.
About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village