One family’s coronavirus nightmare at a Seattle-area nursing home shows how the nursing home industry could struggle to keep people safe

Composite image kirkland

The Life Care Center of Kirkland, a nursing home near Seattle, Washington, has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus in the US.
At one point, the home accounted for 60% of the US virus death toll by itself.
Elderly patients were isolated, and worried families had to communicate on mobile phones, while watching through windows. 
As of March 21, 35 deaths from the coronavirus were linked to the center.
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A US nursing home’s struggle to contain the coronavirus shows the difficulties nursing homes face during the global pandemic. 

In late February and for most of March, coronavirus cases spread through the elderly population at The Life Care Center of Kirkland. At one point, the home in Washington-state accounted for 60% of the US virus death toll by itself.

Inside, elderly patients were isolated in their rooms, unable to take showers or receive visitors. Outside, worried relatives look through windows, and talk to their loved ones on mobile phones.

By March 10, up to one-third of its 180 staff members were under quarantine. By March 21, 35 deaths were linked to the center. 

In the last few days, some of the patients have left the center after recovering.

It’s not the only nursing home to face a rapid spread of the coronavirus. In New Jersey, 94 residents in a care center are presumed to have the coronavirus after 24 people tested positive, Business Insider’s Kelly McLaughlin reported.

Globally, the coronavirus has now infected 529,093 people and killed 23,956 people.

Here’s what it was like inside the Life Care Center of Kirkland, in photos. 

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus live updates: More than 126,000 people have been infected and over 4,600 have died. The US has reported 38 deaths. Here’s everything we know.

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In a suburb to the northeast of Seattle, an unremarkable looking nursing home called Life Care Center of Kirkland, which housed about 120 residents monitored by 180 staff, became the United States’ coronavirus epicenter earlier in March.

Sources: Business Insider, Wall Street Journal

Last year in April, health inspectors found the facility had failed to take the necessary precautions to prevent infections from spreading. But it was a one-off in recent years, and other nursing homes were cited more. For overall care, it was given five out of five stars.

Sources: The Seattle Times, The New York Times

Nursing homes are a prime place for a virus outbreak — the coronavirus spreads by droplets, and nursing homes are filled with the elderly in close quarters. They can have weak immune systems, and underlying health conditions, making them susceptible. There’s also no vaccine yet.

Sources: Kirkland Reporter, Business Insider, Reuters

Kirkland’s struggle is a symptom of what could be a far broader struggle for nursing homes in the coming months. Even without the coronavirus, Reuters reported federal data showed nursing home patients …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Science

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