News Flash — Nursing home residents most at risk of dying from Covid-19


Totally predictable. Always the reality. Our old and sick people are virtually the only ones who are at risk of dying from a Covid-19 infection. Guess where they tend to live? In nursing homes.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Out of 1,550 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the state as of noon Sunday, 952 have been residents of nursing or personal care homes, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Sunday.

So far, more than 50 of Allegheny County’s 79 Covid-19 deaths as of April 27 have been connected with nursing or care homes. The median age of those who died was 84, no one under 40 has died and 84 percent of the deceased were age 70 or older.

So where are the media stories pointing out this month-old happy reality and providing perspective?

Where are the stories telling the public the simple and important panic-reducing fact — one that the Gov. and his state health department people do not seem to want to share for obvious reasons — that very few people under 50 have died from Covid-19 in the state?

Hey, news media, who are those rare tragic young victims? Not their names — what medical preconditions did they have or not have?

Instead of continuing to fan the fake fear that everyone everywhere is equally at risk of dying from Covid-19, how about if the news media emphasized some of the truths about the virus in Pa. that have been obvious for months?

Here, at no charge, are some suggested story angles:

That very very few people under 50 are at risk.

That by far most people who are infected have no or minor symptoms.

That older people in nursing homes are the most vulnerable and need to be protected better.

And that continuing the crippling statewide shutdown another day is irresponsible and insane when large swaths of central and western Pa. have been virtually untouched by the pandemic.

Here are the state’s figures that prove how few Covid-19 patients our hospitals are taking care of in Western Pa. and how many beds and ventilators they have collecting cobwebs.

Allegheny County
Positive Cases: 1,224
Deaths: 79

Available Adult ICU Beds: 294
Available Medical/Surgical Beds: 1,324
Available Pediatric ICU Beds: 28
Available Airborne Isolation Room Beds: 178

Total Number of Vents: 853
Ventilators in Use (COVID-19): 29
Ventilators in Use (non COVID-19): 353

Washington County
Positive Cases: 101
Deaths: 2

Available Adult ICU Beds: 8
Available Medical/Surgical Beds: 80
Available Pediatric ICU Beds: 0
Available Airborne Isolation Room Beds: 14

Total Number of Vents: 35
Ventilators in Use (COVID-19): 1
Ventilators in Use (non COVID-19): 6

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