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Coronavirus finance issues may force Colorado nursing home closure

The Estes Park Health Living Center has 29 residents and has never been fully occupied

FORT COLLINS — Residents of a Colorado nursing home may be displaced due to what the operating company calls insurmountable financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The nonprofit Estes Park Health system is projected to lose about $1.4 million this year as occupancy drops and Medicaid reimbursements lag, The Coloradoan reported Sunday.

The financial difficulties may force the 52-bed Estes Park Health Living Center in Fort Collins to close. The center has 29 residents and has never been fully occupied.

The health system, partially funded by about $3 million a year generated through a special taxing district, estimates a 20% drop in revenue this year and next year, necessitating about $7.5 million in cuts “to break even,” CEO Vern Carda said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.