Lamont and Stefanowski battle for COVID-19 response with nursing homes

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – As the gubernatorial race winds down ahead of Tuesday’s election, Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski is attacking Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont for his handling of the pandemic.

During a debate earlier this week, Stefanowski accused Lamont of placing “COVID-infected patients discharged from hospitals in nursing homes.”

Lamont said that claim is false.

“No one has put COVID-infected patients back into the general population in nursing homes,” Lamont said in response. “It is absolutely false. Fortunately, we had real empty retirement homes, so we can put them there. We had wings that were closed.

In 2020, elderly COVID-19 patients who no longer needed hospital care were moved to vacant nursing homes or empty wings of nursing homes.

About 4,140 COVID-related deaths in Connecticut were residents of nursing homes. More than half of these deaths occurred between April and June 2020.

Hospital beds filled up and elderly patients were placed in cohort groups in nursing homes.

“Patients are not well enough to go home, so you need to put them in a place where they can recover and the next phase of the continuum of care will be rehabilitation facilities or long-term care facilities,” said Senator Saud. Anwar (D-District 3) said.

“So you limit visits, you test staff every day and right next door you bring in an infected patient,” Stefanowski said. “I don’t care if they’re in another wing, I don’t care if the nurse changed their gown. The point is, we should never have done it.

Stefanowski’s backer is former Public Health Commissioner Renee Coleman Mitchell.

Lamont fired her at the start of the pandemic. She is now suing him for his dismissal.

‘He brags and brags about how he and his administration, which I wasn’t a part of, handled COVID-19 and keeps that narrative out there hiding the fact that many lives were needlessly lost’ , Mitchell said.

The health department disagrees, saying that according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, a proper cohort minimized the spread of the virus and has been called the safest approach by health officials. experts.

As of Tuesday, there had been 11,478 COVID-related deaths in Connecticut.

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