BALTIMORE — Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Maryland nursing homes and assisted livings have accounted for around half of the state's deaths attributed to the virus.
Governor Larry Hogan has previously ordered all nursing homes in the state to conduct universal testing and provide the results to the Maryland Department of Health.
The Health Department began updating their dashboard on COVID-19 cases in what's called congregate living facilities in Maryland. These are nursing homes, assisted living facilities, state and local facilities, and group homes with 10 or more occupants that have confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.
From June 3 on however, the initial number of confirmed cases and deaths significantly decreased inexplicably.
So we decided to take a look at how those numbers have decreased each week since June 3.
Below you will see the latest numbers by most recent date.
Week of July 8, 2020
5,270 total cases including 801 deaths
1,820 confirmed staff cases including 15 deaths
3,450 confirmed resident cases including 786 deaths
Week of July 1, 2020
5,744 total cases including 882 deaths
1,961 confirmed staff cases including 16 deaths
3,783 confirmed resident cases including 866 deaths
Week of June 24, 2020
6,804 total cases including 1,058 deaths
2,258 confirmed staff cases including 21 deaths
4,546 confirmed resident cases including 1,037 deaths
Week of June 17, 2020
8,468 total cases including 1,300 deaths
2,836 staff cases including 21 deaths
5,632 resident cases including 1,279 deaths
Week of June 10, 2020
9,650 total cases including 1,359 deaths
3,244 staff cases including 17 deaths
6,406 resident cases including 1,342 deaths
Week of June 3, 2020
9,937 total cases including 1,386 deaths.
3,240 staff cases including 18 deaths
6,697 resident cases including 1,368 deaths
When asked for clarification on the drastic drop in numbers, Department of Health spokesman, Charles Gischlar offered the following statement.
"The Maryland COVID-19 in Congregate Living Facility dataset was created to provide point-in-time information about the presence of COVID-19 among Maryland's congregate living facilities. Over the last six weeks, the list has consistently shown both where COVID-19 is present and has provided historical context about the presence of COVID-19 among the facilities listed."
"The dataset is in part the product of facility reporting requirements, which were directed by Gov. Hogan and implemented by Sec. Neall. These reporting requirements were imposed to provide more timely communication with both MDH and the public about COVID-19 developments within nursing homes. The dataset is also informed by reporting from local health departments, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the Department of Juvenile Services — all of which maintain a constant flow of COVID-19 case and death data that is collated by MDH and published to the dashboard weekly."
"All point-in-time numbers are captured as part of the daily statewide cumulative numbers for COVID-19 cases and deaths."
*Cases and deaths counted below reflect total numbers ever reported to MDH, but don't break them down between staff and residents.
Week of July 8
12,934 Total Cases for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
1,961 Total Deaths for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
Week of July 1
12,658 Total Cases for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
1,920 Total Deaths for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
Week of June 24
12,462 Total Cases for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
1,880 Total Deaths for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
Week of June 17
12,168 Total Cases for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
1,830 Total Deaths for Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.
It's unclear how the state is coming up with their week-by-week totals which significantly differ from the overall totals directly above.