PHOENIX — As Arizona residents wait for official coronavirus data at long-term care facilities to be released, ABC15 is tracking what cases and deaths we have been able to confirm with facilities around the state.
As of May 21, ABC15 has reported on known outbreaks in at least eight facilities in Arizona. From those locations, at least 374 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed among residents and staff, along with 45 resident deaths.
In Maricopa County as of May 15, COVID-19 cases of long-term residents and staff account for 1,603 of the total cases, about 23% of all countywide cases. Deaths however are a different story -- they make up 71% of all deaths countywide, or 207 deaths out of 291.
While Gov. Doug Ducey and Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ have maintained that facility names and locations are protected health information, federal officials have ordered that COVID-19 nursing home data will soon be made publicly available.
White House officials have also recommended testing all nursing homes in the next two weeks, prompting Arizona officials to announce initial testing will begin at 147 long-term care facilities for both residents and staff — a total of more than 20,000 people.
The nearly 150 facilities that will receive initial testing are designated as skilled nursing homes, a type of facility that makes up a small percentage of the long-term care facilities in Arizona.
Arizona has over 3,100 licensed facilities that focus on long-term care, including nursing homes for the elderly, group homes for adults and children, and more, according to data obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Take a look at the map below to see known coronavirus cases and deaths at long-term care facilities in the state, with details on when the last update on counts were received. The case counts at each location in the map have been independently confirmed by ABC15, with gray points highlighting all of the skilled nursing facilities in the state.
FACILITIES WITH KNOWN CASES
Westchester Senior Living Center
A woman with a family member inside Westchester Senior Living Center in Tempe says she received a text alert May 13 from the facility's director, saying that 14 patients have died due to the virus. Another 40 residents have reportedly tested positive, though no further details were given about their conditions.
An alert sent to families two days earlier said 25 staffers have also tested positive, and reported that 12 residents had died.
Glencroft Center for Modern Aging
A statement from the Glencroft Center for Modern Aging on May 11 stated that the facility had 38 residents test positive for COVID-19, and seven residents who had died due to complications from the virus.
"Unfortunately, Glencroft Center for Modern Aging in Glendale has 38 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and seven residents have died from complications from the disease."
Desert Cove Nursing Center
Dozens of residents have tested positive and five have died as of May 8 at Desert Cove Nursing Center in Chandler.
Latest figures from the facility show that 54 residents have tested positive, as well as 19 employees. The company says 39 residents remain in isolation and are receiving treatment from Desert Cove staff. Four residents are receiving care at a hospital.
Life Care Center of Tucson
A spokesperson for Life Care Center of Tucson said 21 of its residents and three of its employees have tested positive for coronavirus as of May 6. One of the patients died, and four were hospitalized.
Freedom Plaza Care Center
The Freedom Plaza Care Center in Peoria said they aggressively began isolating after five positive cases among residents and 12 among staffers were confirmed around April 24. No deaths were reported.
In a statement provided to ABC15, the facility stated, "We immediately implemented our isolation plan. Every resident and employee was tested. No residents or employees have died, and in two subsequent rounds of testing we have had no new cases. We continue to diligently monitor the residents and staff."
A letter, which was shared by an individual to ABC15, states that Bethesda Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care in north Phoenix had 19 confirmed cases and 4 confirmed deaths, as of May 1.
"We are committed to keeping you up to date and informed and will routinely send these letter with the latest COVID-19 numbers," the letter states.
The Pennington Gardens assisted living facility in Chandler has been among the hardest hit in our state by the virus, according to information obtained by ABC15 in late April. The last counts received from the facility were on April 23, confirming that 16 residents had died, and 29 residents and 10 staff members had tested positive.
"Our condolences to all of our families who have lost a loved one. We keep praying for recovery and are dedicated to seeing residents get well. We are seeing a few signs of recovery, so we are hopeful," administrator Nancy Njoroge said in late April.
Sapphire of Tucson
As of April 20, Sapphire of Tucson, located just south of Banner University Medical Center-South, had reported a total of 85 positive cases between 55 residents and 30 employees.
A spokesperson for Sapphire says the facility implemented infection control protocols on March 11, before its first case of COVID-19 was detected.
The company would not release details to Scripps station KGUN9 regarding patient deaths related to COVID-19.
STATE'S EFFORTS TO TEST FACILITIES
As the White House pressures states to improve testing and transparency, Dr. Christ announced the state will begin widespread coronavirus testing inside dozens of long-term care facilities.
“The White House announced that they would like all of these facilities that are Medicare-certified to be tested within the next two weeks,” Dr. Cara Christ said during a Tuesday press conference. “So our team has been working on that plan and this has been our top priority.”
Officials didn’t give a timeline, but a leading industry representative with knowledge of the state’s plan said tests would begin later this week or early next week.
Read more about the state's testing efforts at long-term care facilities here.
ABC15, NEWS ORGANIZATIONS SUE FOR DATA
On May 5, a collection of news organizations, including ABC15 Arizona, announced that they are suing the state health department in order to reveal Arizona long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks.
ABC15, the Arizona Republic, 12 News, CBS5, and 3TV filed a joint action in Maricopa County Superior Court to obtain the names and locations of facilities with coronavirus cases and deaths.
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would begin releasing the names of nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks and the number of cases by the end of the month.
Do you know of a facility that is experiencing confirmed cases of coronavirus? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.