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Maryland should exclude nursing homes and prisons from COVID-19 data | READER COMMENTARY

In the fog, Carroll County Health Department personnel place a "no trespassing" sign by the driveway of the Pleasant View Nursing Home, in Mount Airy on Sunday, March 29, 2020. The nursing home was among the first in the state hard hit by the COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
In the fog, Carroll County Health Department personnel place a "no trespassing" sign by the driveway of the Pleasant View Nursing Home, in Mount Airy on Sunday, March 29, 2020. The nursing home was among the first in the state hard hit by the COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Now that we know that more than 50% of Maryland’s COVID-19 deaths were nursing home residents, wouldn’t it make sense to exclude the numbers of the infected and deceased occurring in nursing home and prison populations (both isolated populations) from the data being considered for reopening the state (“‘Families are the ones who are paying the price:’ Nursing home outbreaks in Catonsville lead to 11 deaths, with more than 120 others infected,” May 1).

If those numbers continue to be included in the analysis, I don’t see a means of reopening the state under the current criteria (14 days of continuous decline) in the foreseeable future. This is despite the fact that these populations are not interacting with the general public. While staff at these locations do pose a risk to the general public, I think it would be reasonable to require staff to continue to isolate until the virus has been controlled within these populations.

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Elizabeth Milbourn, Ruxton

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