In March, the California Globe reported that the California Department of Public Health was suspending nursing home relegations to allow COVID-19 patients to be “discharged to a skilled nursing facility when clinically indicated” .
Following deadly COVID outbreaks in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, they were under strict lockdown and did not even allow spouses and family to visit elderly relatives.
Over the weekend, a friend reported that Eskaton was now accepting COVID patients. The company sent a note to staff announcing that it would start taking COVID patients.
We learned that COVID patients are worth $800 a day, compared to $200 a day for long-term patients with mild health conditions or dementia.
It is no exaggeration to see that COVID patients are a source of income for nursing homes.
With coordinated news reports oddly claiming that there will be another COVID spike, what better way to ensure peak numbers than by sending COVID patients to nursing homes? It is a death sentence for the elderly.
However, a “spike” in COVID “cases” is not a “spike” in COVID deaths, as the media implies. The real spike is in testing. Although more testing finds more people with the virus, this does not translate into hospitalizations or deaths – the recovery rate is still over 98%.
Sacramento County reports 63 coronavirus deaths, noting that “those who died of complications from COVID-19 were age 65 and older and/or had underlying health conditions and/or other risk factors “.
As Andy Caldwell reported for California Globe, he filed a request for investigation with the Santa Barbara District Attorney and the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Foreman, regarding surveillance by the County Public Health Department. of the COVID-19 outbreak due to its failure to provide comprehensive testing in aged care facilities, arguably the largest concentration of at-risk individuals under the Department of Public Health’s purview.
Caldwell reported on a skilled nursing facility in Santa Maria that has experienced 24 cases of COVID-19 among residents and 12 among staff, months after the entire country was told about the dangers of COVID-19 in old people.
“On May 5, Public Health Department staff told the County Board of Supervisors that six facilities had outbreaks, affecting more than 150 patients, but that a plan was in place to monitor and test this vulnerable population,” — but not until the end of June, Caldwell reported.
California Globe contacted the California Department of Public Health in March and asked, “Does the CDPH suspend the very regulations that protect patients from abuse and incompetence?” and “Does this mean COVID-19 patients can be sent to nursing facilities?”
The CDPH answered the first question but not the second. The April 1 directive only states “Patients without clinical concern for COVID-19 can be transferred from hospitals to SNFs according to the usual procedures.
The bottom line is that the California Department of Public Health was ordering skilled nursing facilities to admit COVID-19 patients, but at what cost and why with many hospital beds available? California has never seen an increase or spike in COVID patients. The CDPH recognizes that elderly patients already in skilled nursing facilities are “California’s most vulnerable,” so why would they send COVID-19 patients to facilities housing the most frail and vulnerable patients?
As Caldwell asked, “Do older people’s lives matter? Apparently not when doctors and public health politicians need COVID numbers to rise, and skilled nursing facilities could use the extra money.