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Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Health Commissioner Box Won't Give Nursing Home Outbreak Specifics

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box rebuffed questions Tuesday about providing more specific information about COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes.

Other states have released detailed nursing home information – lists of facilities with COVID-19 cases, for instance.

In past weeks, Indiana state officials did discuss some specific outbreaks. But now, Box says the state will only release aggregate data. She says reporting COVID-19 cases and deaths is a “personal thing” between long-term care facilities, the residents and their families.

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"Medicare and Medicaid regulations are requiring them to notify families of any positive cases and update them on additional positive cases and to update them on any deaths that occur in these facilities,” Box says.

Asked multiple times Tuesday why the state wouldn’t provide more specific information, Box didn’t answer.

The Indiana Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities, claims communication has been good between nursing homes and families. It argues there have only been a small number of “communication lapses” that shouldn’t be a focus.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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