restrictions

NC Coronavirus: COVID 19 cases still increasing in nursing homes as officials loosen visitor restrictions

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been hot spots for the novel coronavirus.

Not only do these facilities bring people into close quarters where the virus can spread more easily, but Catherine Sevier, the president of the North Carolina chapter for AARP, said residents in these facilities are some of the most vulnerable to the infection.

“The biggest risk factor for dying from COVID is being older, having a comorbid condition, having another condition that puts you at risk and then being in congregate living,” Sevier said. “So when you put those three things together, that is ‘nursing home’ in bright lights.”

Back in April, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper instituted strict restrictions for nursing homes, banning visitors and closing common spaces to limit the spread of the virus. However, cases still began to spread throughout the facilities.

In early May, weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes increased by 20%. By the end of that month, more than 3,000 residents were infected and more than 400 were dead.

Now, nursing home residents account for 40% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. In September, cases and deaths increased by nearly 7% and 31 facilities reported new outbreaks.

According to data submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in the last two months, 104 nursing homes statewide reported three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases in a week. Ninety-three nursing homes reported their first case in the last two months.

But Sevier said isolating residents can have detrimental psychological impacts, and he believes plans to reopen to some degree are necessary for patient and family peace of mind.

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“We’ve now realized

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Thawing of frozen loans stalls as restrictions bite

The mixture of home loans to SME loans is broadly the same with the value of home loans falling to $160 billion in August from $167 billion in July and deferred SME loans falling to $53 billion from $55 billion over the same period.

Lender level data still shows Bank of Queensland as the big lender with the highest proportion of deferred loans overall accounting for 12 per cent of its total book. BoQ has frozen repayments of 11 per cent of its home loan book and 21 per cent of its SME loan book.

Earlier this week the bank announced it was ramping up provisions for bad debts to $175 million after taking into account the worsening impact of the virus crisis.

ANZ has the highest proportion of home loans on deferral with the data showing repayments on 12 per cent of its home loan as frozen. ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott has repeatedly encouraged borrowers who are experiencing problems to get in touch with the bank and put payments on hold.

Commonwealth Bank has the highest number of SME loans on deferral at 24 per cent of its total book. CBA elected to automatically defer the loans of its SME customers when the crisis descended, elevating the number of frozen loans on its books.

Foreign owned lender HSBC continues to exhibit one of the lowest levels of deferrals among lenders with just 4 per cent of its total loan book frozen, including 5 per cent of its home loan book and 6 per cent of its SME loan book.

Among second tier lenders Macquarie, AMP and ME continued to show elevated levels of deferred home loans at 10 per cent of their total housing book. Suncorp and Citigroup reported just 6 per cent of their books as frozen while

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CT relaxes visitation restrictions at nursing homes


Families will be able to visit their loved ones living in nursing home indoors and in person “effective immediately,” state health officials said Monday.

The state’s Department of Public Health issued a new order, rescinding the restrictions on indoor visits.

The announcement came following a directive from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the

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