BUCKS COUNTY, PA — At least one local nursing home is disputing the state’s data on the number of coronavirus cases and deaths.
Officials at the Lutheran Community at Telford said the facility had no cases or deaths, despite the state’s data from June 10 indicating it has had 48 cases and eight deaths.
Ellen Shrager, the community’s Executive Director, said she has received numerous calls from concerned residents and families regarding the data and is very frustrated.
She addressed the matter in a letter to residents and families, which she also shared with Patch.
“To confirm, as of today, there have been zero cases of COVID-19 reported for residents in any level of living on our campus since the onset of the pandemic. We are very proud of our mitigation efforts and immensely grateful to our dedicated staff for the care and strict adherence to the guidelines we instituted throughout our community in an effort to ensure the health and well-being of all Lutheran Community at Telford residents,” Shrager wrote.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health, responding to an inquiry from Patch, acknowledged the data discrepancy. Pennsylvania Department of Health Deputy Press Secretary Maggi Mummasaid not all facilities have reported completely, or in some cases at all. That means some of the reporting is from the department’s NEDSS system, which matches case information and facility address, she said.
“We are constantly working to make sure the data we provide is accurate, and that may lead to some changes in data as more information is made available. Lutheran Community at Telford is one of the facilities that still is not accurate or completely reporting their data to the department,” Mumma said.
Mumma added, “moving forward, we are mandating that facilities are reporting, and reporting the necessary information as has been ordered.”
Shrager said the facility has been in touch with state Hospital and Health Care Association regarding the error. “They in turn have confirmed our reporting is correct and are working to have this information amended in a timely fashion,” Shrager said.
But as of Friday, the data remained up on the state Department of Health website.
Confusion surrounding figures in the state’s data has been ongoing for a month now, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In a May 20 report, the publication said nursing home operators “were puzzling over where the state obtained the numbers it made public.” Some said the figures did not match anything they had entered into any of the local, state, and federal databases, the report noted.
The Department of Health website has a page dedicated to data on coronavirus case rates and deaths at nursing homes, which have been particularly hard-hit by the virus. Two-thirds of the state’s deaths have been among nursing home residents.
As of Friday, there have been 6,399 COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania, with 4,345 of them being nursing home residents.
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