Nursing Home COVID-19 Infections Quadruple In States Where Pandemic Surges: AP
The nation is currently facing a surge in COVID-19 infections, with 100,000 new cases reported daily, along with about 1,000 deaths per day, causing a four-fold spoke in nursing home coronavirus cases in the hardest hit states.
The Associated Press recently conducted an analysis of federal data from 20 states, finding that weekly cases of nursing home residents being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus quadrupling from the end of May to late October in those states seeing the biggest spikes in COVID-19 infections. In addition the rate of resident deaths has doubled, from 318 a week in May to 699 per week in those states.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago, also finding a four-fold increase of infections among nursing home staff as well, from 855 per week in May to 4,050 the week of October 25.
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The AP warns that this is a sign infected staffers who are asymptomatic are probably bringing the infection into the facilities where they work undetected.
With more than 1.3 million residents in over 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes throughout the United States, significant attention has been placed on COVID-19’s progress through nursing homes, which have been hard hit. Many experts have claimed nursing homes were hit the hardest due to low levels of staffing, a lack of preparation, and the elderly’s increased vulnerability to the effects of the virus.
In August, the U.S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report indicating nursing home and long term health care facilities had reported 216,219 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with another 129,338 suspected cases. Of the confirmed cases, a total of 53,196 COVID-19 related deaths were reported.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in September, highlighting a link between COVID-19 and nursing home quality of care, indicating facilities which scored better in federal ratings have been less likely to experience severe outbreaks at their facilities.
Federal investigators are exploring the possibility of nursing home neglect playing a role in the COVID-19 outbreak, which was first detected in a nursing home in Washington State that became the epicenter for the U.S. pandemic. Investigators say the nursing home failed to respond to the outbreak adequately, placing residents in jeopardy of illness and death.
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