BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — New data released by the state is giving more insight into the spread and control of COVID-19 at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across Massachusetts.
New clinical audits, conducted by licensed nurses and clinical staff trained in infection control, found that 132 nursing facilities were not in adherence with Massachusetts’ safety and infection control protocols.
The clinical audits are conducted every two weeks “based on a 28-point Infection Control Checklist,” according to the state.
Facilities must meet at least 24 of the 28 control measures in order to be in adherence. Scores of 20 or more, but less than 24, mean a facility is still considered to be in adherence, “but warrants reinspection.”
However, every facility must meet six “core competency” measures to be in adherence, regardless of their score. This includes separating infected residents from other residents, closing congregate spaces and cancelling group events involving close proximity, staff training for PPE, requiring residents to wear PPE if the facility sees a COVID-19 case, creating infection control policies, and training all healthcare personnel to recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
The audits found that 119 nursing facilities scored more than 20 but missed a core competency, therefore making them not in adherence. And 13 facilities scored less than 20.
A total of 360 audits were completed, and 228 facilities were found to be in adherence.
The state has also released data showing a breakdown of the number of deaths at long-term care facilities. On Wednesday, 4,041 deaths were reported at long-term care facilities. This is nearly 62% of the total death toll for Massachusetts of 6,547.