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Las Vegas nursing home under investigation after COVID-19 deaths

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Posted at 5:29 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 15:40:39-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A nursing home in Las Vegas is showing more than 130 COVID-19 cases, with 49% percent of those cases involving its patients.

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reports The Heights of Summerlin, located at 10550 W. Park Run Dr., has a total of 133 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 61 recoveries.

However, 24 residents have passed away from the virus at the nursing home, according to the department. That number currently makes up 26% of the total patient deaths (90) reported at facilities overall in Nevada.

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health is investigating the facility, and they say that the facility did not report COVID-19 related deaths promptly.

Confirmed cases in Clark County, what's happening around the state

Health experts say that the elderly have been at the highest risk when it comes to coronavirus.

Dr. Daliah Wachs says nursing homes can, unfortunately, be a hotbed for COVID-19.

"Hospitals have means where they can isolate, they have filtration systems, and so sometimes the most diligent nursing home facilities can do so much with this invisible virus," Dr. Wachs said.

Elderly individuals at nursing homes are also often sick with other illnesses, making the virus easier to contract and more challenging to fight off.

"The average individual who might be at one of these nursing home facilities might be bedridden, they can't cough it out, they cant try to fight it," Dr. Wachs said.

The Heights of Summerlin told 13 Action News that the location has stringent rules, and it has been following proper guidance from the CDC regarding COVID-19, with screening residents three times daily, personal protective equipment requirements for staff, and visitation restrictions.

"At this time, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our patients, residents, and employees," said Andrew Reese, with Heights of Summerlin. "I can assure you that we are working around the clock, doing everything in our power - and everything medical experts know as of this time – to protect and keep our patients, residents, and employees as healthy and as safe as possible."

Wednesday, total confirmed cases at the Summerlin nursing home consisted of 76 residents and 57 staff members.

Continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported a total of 373 COVID-19 deaths statewide as of May 20 with the Southern Nevada Health District reporting 314 of those deaths in Clark County.

Despite the state's data, the facility says only 18 residents have passed away due to COVID-19, compared to the 24 reported by the state.

The facility says they've spoken with state officials and were told that there were additional deaths in local hospitals that they weren't aware of, and that one patient passed away at the facility.

According to Nevada DHHS, there are 773 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus among the 64 skilled nursing facilities in the state. 29 of those facilities are in Clark County.

Of those 773 cases, 75 residents and 1 staff member have died. 306 of those diagnosed have recovered.

Lakeside Health & Wellness In Reno is the facility with the 2nd highest count. 90 residents at that facility have tested positive and 20 have died. 1 staff member has also passed away.