LDH commits to studying the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes
By Kathleen Peppo, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE–The Louisiana Department of Health committed Thursday to studying the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes throughout the state to better handle the spread of infectious diseases in the future.
Rep. Aimee Freeman, D-New Orleans, said her district was the first to experience a cluster of COVID-19-related nursing home deaths. Health Department officials promised her that they would study the ways in which certain nursing homes prevented the virus’s spread and the ways in which other nursing homes failed.
“It’s my wish that we can study this in a way that we can understand what went wrong and what worked well,” said Freeman. “I have five nursing homes in my district, and some of them had no cases. So, there are things that were done well.”
Freeman said that 23 people died because of COVID-19 complications in the first nursing home to report a case.
Although Freeman’s district was the first, its situation was not unique.
“I know that I’m not the only member who had these issues in their district,” Freeman said. She said many House members called her for advice.
According to the LDH website, as of June 8, 122 adult residential facilities have reported at least one case of COVID-19. Ninety-one COVID-19-related deaths and 630 total cases have been reported by these facilities. The information is updated each Monday.
The website also says that the spread of the virus is the greatest risk to the vulnerable residents of these facilities.
“It’s very important to understand what happened there and how that worked,” Freeman said, “and to make sure that we look at the COVID deaths that specifically happened in nursing homes throughout our community in Louisiana.”
Photo caption: Rep. Aimee Freeman, D-New Orleans, said her district was the first to experience a cluster of COVID-19-related nursing home deaths.