Nursing home COVID-19 cases, deaths on the rise after decline

After a decline in COVID-19 cases, U.S. nursing homes are now reporting a resurgence of both virus cases and deaths, according to data from The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. 

AHCA and NCAL released data showing new COVID-19 cases rising among the more than 14,000 facilities it represents. COVID-related deaths decreased in July, but are also trending up again.

“This is especially troubling since many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are still unable to acquire the personal protective equipment and testing they need to fully combat this virus,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the AHCA and NCAL.

Mr. Parkinson and the organizations sent a letter to the National Governors Association warning states of imminent nursing home outbreaks. Mr. Parkinson requested governors and state agencies help secure more protective gear for nursing homes and assisted living communities, especially N95 masks. 

On July 22, CMS said all nursing homes would be required to test nursing home staff for the virus every week in states with 5 percent or higher positivity rates. There are at least 33 states with a positive COVID-19 test rate that meet said criteria. 

“We need Congress to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living communities in this upcoming legislation,” Mr. Parkinson said. The AHCA/NCAL are requesting an additional $100 billion from Congress, according to Mr. Parkinson. “Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will end up repeating the same mistakes from several months ago.”

More articles on post-acute care:
Maryland nursing home residents on dialysis 47% more likely to have COVID-19, study finds
Minnesota nursing home sues woman for saying facility is trying to kill residents with COVID-19 testing
New York nursing home sent residents to hospitals to die, some state officials claim

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