South Carolina DHEC has decided to actually track COVID-19 cases in nursing homes days after CMS required it. South Carolina always does the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities first. SCDHEC will finally start providing periodic updates on nursing home and assisted living facilities that have an associated case of COVID-19, as well as the number of positive cases for either residents or staff members. DHEC made the announcement saying the information will “better define the scope of COVID-19 within South Carolina nursing homes and similar facilities.”
In the first list released, 14 Upstate facilities were mentioned as having confirmed cases of COVID-19 for either residents or staff members including White Oak Manor’s facility at North Grove and Fundamental’s Magnolia Manor-Inman.
The spread of contagious illnesses like COVID-19 or scabies is foreseeable and predictable in nursing homes due to shared living and dining areas as well as limitations for social distancing. That is why it is especially important for caregivers to be trained to contain the virus.
DHEC may also provide a preliminary number of COVID-19 related deaths associated with these facilities early next week. DHEC is compiling and verifying this information to help present a fuller picture of COVID-19’s impact but the number will be lower than the true number of deaths.