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COVID outbreak at Omaha long-term care facility being reported

Posted at 10:46 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 18:46:14-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — An official at an Omaha long-term care facility says 11 staff members and 15 residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

Tracy Lichti, President and CEO of New Cassel Retirement Center, says they are currently working with the Douglas County Health Department and Nebraska's Infection Control Assessment and Promotion Program (ICAP) to handle the outbreak.

Lichti says the facility has been following guidance on virus mitigation in the form of testing and supplying PPE. She also says the facility just recently closed its doors to visitors as numbers began rising.

New Cassel Retirement Center is the largest retirement facility in the state with 180 apartments for residents.

Governor Pete Ricketts announced Monday that long term facilities will be getting more money in Medicaid reimbursement, insuring they have the funds to stay open and keep staff members.

“It will also allow in my mind, the ability for a provider to increase wages if they need to, maybe to pay some retention incentives if they would choose to and to probably recruit some more people,” says Heath Boddy, President/CEO, Nebraska Health Care Association.

No long term care facilities have yet to close due the pandemic, although officials said the extra money will especially allow facilities in rural Nebraska to stay open.

In total the facilities will get a total of around $40 million more, statewide, to cover expenses.

Positive cases at the facility were discovered last week.

Some residents are currently hospitalized.

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