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Data reveals at least 129 COVID-19 deaths in Arizona nursing homes

(AP Photo/Chris Ehrmann)

PHOENIX — At least 129 residents have died from the coronavirus in Arizona nursing homes, according to newly released federal data that identifies facilities with cases.

The data, released Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, included COVID-19 case and deaths totals from about 140 nursing homes across the state.

COVID-19 statistics from other types of Arizona long-term care facilities remain scarce because the state won’t release them.

Eighty-five of the deaths in the federal report came from metro Phoenix nursing homes, including 14 from Westchester Senior Living in Tempe and 14 from Providence Place at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging in Glendale. Glencroft voluntarily makes its COVID-19 data public with a dashboard updated daily.

The data only accounted for nursing homes beginning on May 8, which is when facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding were required to report COVID-19 cases to all residents, their families and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Data from the report also didn’t include COVID-19 case totals and deaths from assisted-living facilities and other senior living centers.

The number of coronavirus deaths among senior communities is likely much higher as a result.

The state of Arizona has refused calls to release information about which long-term care facilities have seen coronavirus cases, citing privacy concerns, and won a lawsuit filed by local media outlets over the issue.

In Maricopa County, 312 of the 451 reported COVID-19 deaths as of Wednesday (69%) were attributed to long-term care facilities by the county health department.

Nationally, the federal report showed more than 95,000 COVID-19 cases and almost 32,000 deaths in nursing homes.

Arizona had reported 22,753 coronavirus cases and 996 deaths as of Thursday morning.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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