Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Nursing home COVID cases have declined since vaccines began to be administered in mid-December, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. Nursing homes in the US have seen the lowest number of new COVID cases since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services started tracking cases in May.
In the week of Dec. 20, 2020, U.S. nursing homes saw 33,000 new COVID cases. And in the week of Feb. 7, that number dropped to 6,000 cases. In the same period of time, AHCA/NCAL reports community cases in the general population dropped by 46%.
“We still have a long road ahead, but these numbers are incredibly encouraging and a major morale booster for frontline caregivers who have been working tirelessly every day for a year to protect our residents,” said AHCA/NCAL President Mark Parkinson in a press release. “This new data showcases just how important it is for nursing homes residents and staff, as well as the general public, to get the vaccine because it is clearly working.”
In addition to greatly reduced cases, nursing home COVID deaths have reduced by more than 60%. In the week of December 20, 2020, U.S. nursing homes saw 5,900 COVID-related deaths. Compare that to the week of Feb. 7, when U.S. nursing homes saw 2,200 COVID-related deaths.
“Though this report brings hope, we cannot let our guard down. We must continue to encourage folks to get vaccinated, especially caregivers and staff,” Parkinson said.