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State to stand up 4th COVID recovery center in Torrington

State also looking to open a facility to serve Eastern Connecticut.

TORRINGTON, Conn. — On Tuesday, the state announced they are opening additional COVID recovery centers. They say the need is rising.

The state is trying to stay one step ahead of the surge. COVID recovery centers are an intermediate level of care for people who are too sick to stay home, but not sick enough to need a hospital.

The COVID recovery centers serve two main functions.

They help nursing homes and assisted living facilities to contain an outbreak by cohorting COVID-positive residents and they reduce hospital bed capacity.

"Allowing transfers from other congregate settings and well as hospital discharges will be part of our strategy going forward," said interim Department of Public Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford.

Currently, CT has three COVID recovery facilities. Seeing the need rising, the state will open a 4th in Torrington by the first week of December.

There are a total of 95 patients currently being treated at the CRC's, with a capacity of just over 200. 

"We are going to look at these numbers on a regular basis and monitor the use of these facilities," said Commissioner Gifford. The Westfield Meriden facility is seeing more patients now than the entire time after they originally opened.  

There is also a gap in Eastern Connecticut. The state is trying to find a quality nursing home willing to work with them to become a COVID recovery facility. 

Adelita Orefice of the state Department of Public Health said, "We are looking to grow the network in Eastern Connecticut, and we are exploring options now. We are looking for facilities that have five-star ratings on staffing."

Long-term care facilities are trying their best to keep outdoor visitation a viable option by purchasing tents.

Indoor visits are more restricted but still allowed for compassionate care purposes, which is being applied inconsistently.

Orefice said, "It’s a challenge. What we find is that the facilities that manage the challenge the best are the facilities that have really good communication with families and residents and who are honest about what the risks are."

State health officials told me that following the Thanksgiving holiday they’ll be conducting more aggressive point prevalence testing of every resident and staff member to monitor any post-holiday surge.