“We know every death is a tragedy,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska’s chief medical officer. “But one of the reasons I think we have done so well on our mortality rate is our success in managing long-term care outbreaks.”
Standing out from the data are the nine outbreaks where 10 or more residents have died.
They include 20 residents at Emerald Nursing and Rehabilitation Lakeview in Grand Island, the 16 residents at St. Joseph Villa, 14 at the Life Care Center of Elkhorn, 13 at Westfield in Aurora, 12 at the Life Care Center of Omaha (another affiliate of the same national chain), 11 at Good Samaritan Society-Millard and 10 each at Omaha’s Florence Home, Golden Ours in Grant and Plainview Manor, a small rural home in northeast Nebraska’s Pierce County.
The outbreaks at St. Joseph, Life Care Center of Omaha, Florence and Plainview have never before been disclosed. And most of the others became more severe than was revealed at the time — in some cases, much more.
In all, those nine double-digit death outbreaks account for almost two-thirds of all reported nursing home deaths in Nebraska.
Douglas County stands out as home to five of the nine deadliest outbreaks, more than one-third of all deadly outbreaks and almost half of all deaths.
Most nursing home deaths can be found within Douglas County and two well-known Nebraska hot spots: a five-county area surrounding Grand Island, where a major outbreak fueled largely by a local meatpacking plant rippled through the region; and Dakota County, another meatpacking community that still ranks in the top 10 nationally in per-capita coronavirus cases.