State launches dashboard for COVID-19 cases in long-term-care facilities

The Indiana State Department of Health is launching a dashboard that will track COVID-19 cases in long-term-care facilities.

The dashboard follows a spreadsheet released by the state three weeks ago that named all facilities that have reported COVID-19 cases in residents and staff members.

The dashboard, which will be accessible through the Indiana COVID-19 dashboard, will be updated weekly. It contains information from all long-term-care facilities in the state, said Dr. Daniel Rusyniak, chief medical officer for the Family and Social Services Administration.

The state will need to verify reported cases and deaths with its system. As a result, the data presented will lag by one week.

To date, 6,664 cases have been reported among residents in Indiana long-term-care facilities. There have been 1,753 deaths.

For the week ending Aug. 5, 215 new cases and 30 new deaths were reported.

The dashboard also will track cases and deaths in long-term-care facility staff members. So far, 2,945 cases and 11 deaths have been reported.

For the week ending Aug. 5, there were 136 new staff cases and no deaths.

“Facilities are still required to submit new cases within 24 hours of knowledge to assure the highest confidence in the data we report,” Rusyniak said.

Dashboard users will be able to search specific long-term-care facilities to see reported cases and deaths.

The dashboard was set to go live Wednesday, but as of press time it had not launched.

Federal regulations require nursing homes to inform residents and their families of new COVID-19 cases, as well as local and state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In May, the state began requiring the facilities to provide daily updates of COVID-19 cases to residents and approved family or designated representatives.

The state had been releasing collective numbers for all facilities on a weekly basis, but was not releasing facility-specific data to the public or media.

In July, the state reversed course after a couple of the largest associations that represent long-term-care facilities and the AARP, which advocates for residents at those facilities, expressed support for more transparency.

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