Nursing home groups leery about naming Wisconsin facilities with cases

MILWAUKEE — A plan to release the names of long-term care facilities with positive COVID-19 cases should be treated with care, officials with an association that represents nursing homes and residential facilities said Saturday.

Representatives of LeadingAge Wisconsin said the list should not be viewed as a measure of quality of care offered by specific facilities. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said it will begin releasing the names on Monday.

“To be clear, the mere presence of COVID-19 does not indicate a poorly run facility, but more likely represents a facility that is actively aiding in the fight within this public health crisis," John Sauer, president and CEO of LeadingAge Wisconsin, said in a release.

John Vander Meer, president and CEO of Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living , added that the report should not diminish the work of frontline caregivers who “deserve our respect and support” for their efforts.

State health officials on Saturday announced 349 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the total number to 9,939. The state confirmed 14 more deaths, for a total of 398.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.