Pittsburg Post-Gazette: The Coronavirus is Cutting a Deadly Swath Through Personal Care Homes (March 25, 2021)
While much of the nation has focused on the crisis in nursing homes, the virus has left a devastating impact on personal care homes in Pennsylvania, leaving hundreds of people dead in a series of outbreaks since November that have been largely unknown to the public. With far less regulation than nursing facilities, personal care homes have emerged as a new flashpoint for the disease.
As the number of personal care homes increased over the past three decades — to 1,151 today across the state — so did the ages and frail conditions of the people in those homes, increasing the risk of severe illness when COVID-19 struck. Then, there was the consumer demand, said, Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney at Justice in Aging. Personal care homes “feel better,” he said. Residents “prefer the less medical environment when that’s available.”