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Nursing homes accept COVID-19 patients, even as deaths climb

May 20, 2020 GMT
Jeff Johnson helps his mother, Kathy Johnson, get in a truck as they visit his father, Michael Johnson, at the North Ridge Health and Rehab nursing home in New Hope, Minn., Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The Johnsons are worried that North Ridge's policy of accepting COVID-19 patients from hospitals is exposing residents at the home. The nursing home has said it has a large number of infections because of the size of the facility, which is home to about 300 residents, making it the largest long-term care facility in the state. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)
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Jeff Johnson helps his mother, Kathy Johnson, get in a truck as they visit his father, Michael Johnson, at the North Ridge Health and Rehab nursing home in New Hope, Minn., Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The Johnsons are worried that North Ridge's policy of accepting COVID-19 patients from hospitals is exposing residents at the home. The nursing home has said it has a large number of infections because of the size of the facility, which is home to about 300 residents, making it the largest long-term care facility in the state. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)
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Jeff Johnson helps his mother, Kathy Johnson, get in a truck as they visit his father, Michael Johnson, at the North Ridge Health and Rehab nursing home in New Hope, Minn., Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The Johnsons are worried that North Ridge's policy of accepting COVID-19 patients from hospitals is exposing residents at the home. The nursing home has said it has a large number of infections because of the size of the facility, which is home to about 300 residents, making it the largest long-term care facility in the state. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota hospitals continue to discharge patients infected with COVID-19 to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities where the majority of coronavirus deaths have occurred.

Some lawmakers, families of residents and others are voicing their opposition to the transfers, saying they are endangering the health of the uninfected who live in the facilities, including those that have had large and deadly outbreaks of the disease.

They are calling for more scrutiny from state officials over the transfers, including tougher standards over which facilities should be allowed to accept infected patients, the Star Tribune reported.

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The Minnesota Department of Health turned to nursing homes to relieve hospitals that were at risk of being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Even nursing homes with large and deadly clusters of coronavirus cases have been allowed to admit COVID-19 patients from hospitals.

North Ridge Health and Rehab in New Hope, has accepted 42 patients from hospitals and other long-term care facilities since mid-April even as the coronavirus has taken the lives of 48 residents and infected many other at the 320-bed nursing home.

“It makes no sense to bring more COVID-19 patients into facilities that have already failed to protect them,” said Sen. Karin Housley, the Republican chairwoman of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee.