More than half of Alexandria's COVID-19 deaths are in long-term care facilities, city says

20 March 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Recklinghausen: A stethoscope hangs on an emergency trolley in the intensive care unit of Prosper Hospital. Due to the spread of the coronavirus and the increase in the number of cases, elective procedures are c

The City of Alexandria says more than half, or 15 of its 25 COVID-19 deaths, happened in long-term care facilities.

The city’s report follows COVID-19 patterns seen statewide and in other states, like Maryland.  

The trend is concerning not only for the residents in the area’s senior care centers, but also for the workforce caring for the most vulnerable.

Multiple concerned healthcare workers reached out to FOX 5 last week to share a list of more than 25 senior care facilities in Northern Virginia dealing with COVID-19.

Their disclosure came as county and state health departments in the Commonwealth refuse to publicly name those nursing and assisted living facilities impacted by COVID-19.

The city and state’s health departments both continue to cite patient privacy as the reason why they cannot publicly name facilities impacted.

The healthcare workers who had reached out to FOX 5 were also frustrated that they were not being officially informed of the severity inside the facilities on that list.

RELATED: DC, Maryland and Virginia coronavirus case total latest

In their Saturday announcement, the City of Alexandria’s Health Department said it is informing the city’s long term care facilities of COVID-19 outbreaks in other Northern Virginia facilities.

Workers might be stopped from entering their long term care facility depending on the previous facility or job the working is coming from.

“AHD has also notified Alexandria LTCFs of COVID-19 outbreaks in other LTCFs in northern Virginia, so Alexandria facilities can exclude workers from the other facilities until they complete their quarantine periods…” part of the press release read.

According to the Health Department, the other side to this issue is that many of these long-term care workers are lower-income employees and are not getting benefits like paid sick leave, which would allow them to take needed time off if they were exposed to COVID-19.

The City’s Health Department says it is assisting long-term care works by advocating for livable wages and benefits. You can read the full press release and tips on what certain questions relatives of nursing home residents can ask on behalf of their loved-ones.

According to Virginia Department of Health, Sunday the state recorded 660 deaths with 363, or 55% of state’s COVID19 deaths, reported within Virginia’s long term care facilities.