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Death and denial, as Covid-19 hits FutureCare

by Mark Reutter1:33 pmApr 15, 20200

Baltimore City confirms coronavirus outbreak at a FutureCare nursing home

In biggest cluster to date, 170 residents and staff have tested positive for coronavirus. Last week, The Brew identified the facility as a virus hot spot.

Above: Outside of FutureCare Lochearn today, responders in protective clothing, masks and gloves from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Management Services Systems. (Louis Krauss)

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young  confirmed this afternoon a major outbreak of coronavirus at a northwest nursing home operated by the FutureCare chain.

A total of 170 cases have been confirmed at the Lochearn facility on Seton Drive – 129 cases among residents and 41 cases among staff.

There is no information about the medical status of the patients, although an online press release says “many of the people who have tested positive are not symptomatic.”

The outbreak represents the largest known outbreak of COVID-19 cases in any of the 225 senior care homes in Maryland.

Cases Identified Last Friday

Last Friday, The Brew reported that five residents had contracted COVID-19 at the Lochearn facility, based on information provided by sources.

Repeated attempts to confirm the cases with FutureCare management were unsuccessful. The company, owned and operated by the Attman family, runs 15 nursing homes in the Baltimore area.

Lochearn is the fourth known FutureCare facility with coronavirus cases.

The other locations are Canton Harbor at Ellwood Avenue and Boston Street, Good Samaritan on East Belvedere Avenue, and Cold Spring on Harford Road.

Lax Protection

Several nurses and others told The Brew they were not given masks and other personal protective equipment until after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all Maryland nursing homes so equipped on April 5.

They also said management was lax in providing basic information on how to protect themselves and residents from COVID-19 infections.

Workers don protective clothing next to four white vans parked outside FutureCare's Seton Avenue location in Baltimore, as officials confirm a COVID-19 outbreak there. (Louis Krauss)

Workers don protective clothing next to four white vans parked outside of the Lochearn location. (Louis Krauss)

Mayor Young said today the city health department is “working diligently” with FutureCare management and “will continue to monitor the situation at this facility.”

Personal protective equipment has been distributed at the Lochearn facility, and LifeBridge Health has tested all residents and staff on the site, Young’s office said. A “strike team” from the Maryland Department of Health was also dispatched to the facility.

The FutureCare chains's Lochearn location, where a major COVID-19 outbreak has been reported. (Louis Krauss)

FutureCare’s Lochearn facility is off of Northern Parkway on Seton Drive. (Louis Krauss)

FutureCare attorney and spokesperson, Holly O’Shea, is quoted in the today’s release as saying the chain’s “highest priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our staff and residents.”

“FutureCare has aggressively implemented infection control procedures and was an early adapter of visitation restriction, universal masking and have implemented all of Governor Hogan’s orders,” she said.

Prior Brew Coverage

Five residents at FutureCare’s Lochearn nursing home have coronavirus, sources report (4/10/20)

FutureCare initially prevented staff from using protective equipment, nurse says (4/4/20)

At least 19 states disclose names of nursing homes with coronavirus outbreaks – but not Maryland (10/14/20)

– To reach this reporter: reuttermark@yahoo.com

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