Join Club

Nursing Homes Were a COVID-19 Hot Spot in Arlington

Update on 6/19/20 — Based on new data from the Virginia Dept. of Health, the actual number of deaths at Regency Care is 30.

Earlier: Local nursing homes have reported dozens of coronavirus cases and deaths, federal data shows.

As the number of new COVID-19 cases in Arlington continues to rise at a relative trickle — nine new cases and no new hospitalizations reported overnight — a look back at data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows the outsized role some nursing homes played during the peak of Arlington’s outbreak.

As of May 31, four nursing homes alone contributed 178 cases and 98 deaths to Arlington’s total, according to the CMS data, though there are some questions about the numbers, as noted below. The county’s cumulative total currently stands at 2,372 cases, 407 hospitalizations and 124 deaths.

The four Arlington nursing homes for which CMS data was available:

  • Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center (3710 Lee Highway): 82 confirmed cases, 8 related deaths
  • The Jefferson (900 N. Taylor Street): 10 confirmed cases, 6 related deaths
  • Manorcare (550 S. Carlin Springs Road): 13 confirmed cases, 1 related death
  • Regency Care (1785 S. Hayes Street): 73 confirmed cases, 83 related deaths

The numbers for Regency Care seemingly do not add up, with more COVID-related deaths (83) than confirmed cases (73). Multiple attempts by ARLnow to reach an administrator at the Pentagon City facility prior to the publication of this article were unsuccessful and Arlington’s health department declined multiple requests for clarification, citing “patient privacy laws.” Other news reports suggest that the CMS data is “riddled with errors.”

However, ARLnow has received numerous tips about the facility since the start of the pandemic.

“Thought the public should know… the nursing home Regency Care of Arlington had a huge COVID outbreak on the 5th floor,” said one tipster in early April. “This is something terrible.”

“Regency Care of Arlington nursing home has the highest amount of COVID cases in Arlington with well over 100 cases,” another tipster said, in May. The assertion of over 100 cases could not be confirmed and is not shown in the CMS data, which was last updated on May 31.

On Wednesday afternoon, a woman identifying herself as the administrator of Regency Care called ARLnow and asserted that the number of deaths reported by CMS was inaccurate. She chastised ARLnow for publishing this article and for taking photos of the outside of the facility without the company’s permission. She declined numerous requests to provide the accurate number of deaths at the facility and abruptly hung up the phone.

Local and state authorities in Virginia have repeatedly declined to provide data on specific facilities.

“As a health district under [the Virginia Dept. of Health], we are unable to provide or confirm patient data at individual long term care facilities due to patient privacy laws,” said Arlington County spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell. She noted that the county has been working with nursing homes, assisted living centers and other such facilities to mitigate outbreaks.

“Working with long-term care facilities is an ongoing priority for Arlington Public Health, and our team works with skilled nursing and assisted living facilities throughout the year to control and prevent outbreaks, such as norovirus and the seasonal flu, even prior to COVID,” O’Donnell said. “Arlington Public Health has been working with these facilities to implement CDC and VDH guidance for COVID-19 infection control and prevention measures, including things like monitoring residents and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID, providing guidance on proper PPE and cleaning/disinfecting protocols.”

A county webpage on the topic says that the majority of COVID-19 deaths in Arlington have occurred at long-term care facilities.

“The majority of deaths from COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Virginia have been associated with LTCFs, including Arlington,” the page says. “We are saddened by the deaths of anyone from COVID-19, especially residents in our LTCFs. Their age, their chronic medical conditions, and their setting put them at greater risk. This is why we place a special focus on residents and staff at these facilities.”

ARLnow has previously reported on outbreaks at other types of long-term care facilities, including at least 31 cases and nine deaths at just one Virginia Square assisted living center — Brookdale Senior Living — as of mid-May.

In all, the Virginia Dept. of Health reports 16 known individual outbreaks in Arlington, including 10 at long-term care facilities, three in “congregate settings” like gyms and churches, and three in healthcare settings like medical offices. Those outbreaks were responsible for 465 cases, including 168 among healthcare workers, according to the state health department.

“Residents of LTCFs are usually at greater risk for exposure to germs, such as flu, norovirus, and the novel coronavirus based on their care needs, especially because they often require assistance with one or more activities of daily living, which puts them in much closer physical distance or contact with caregivers” O’Donnell explained. “Additionally, staff or visitors can bring in germs when symptomatic and also asymptomatically – that is they can spread germs before they have symptoms. And spread can then occur between residents and staff in similar ways once the virus is in a facility.”

Of the 124 coronavirus-related deaths in Arlington, all but 10 have been among those ages 60 and above, according to VDH.

Recent Stories

The owner of the bakery Cake Baby is celebrating one year of opening at the Pentagon City mall — and being out of her parents’ house. In December 2021, a…

A coalition of parents will be marching on Friday at Wakefield High School to encourage students not to use drugs and to demand a countywide response to in-school opioid use….

The freshest cold-pressed juice, cashew milks and cleanses delivered straight to your home or office from Greenheart Juice Shop! Greenheart delivers to over 100 zip codes in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. Check your delivery day here and…

Renovations to a pair of office buildings in Crystal City, including the construction of a new pedestrian plaza, are set to wrap up this spring. Work kicked off last year…

Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Almost, Maine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each

First-time Moms Meet & Greet

The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list