COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Louisiana’s Nursing Homes Rise for Second Straight Month after Consistent Decline

Posted on 07/20/22

Nurse talking to patient in wheelchair

New data indicates rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths in America’s nursing homes rose substantially in June for the second month in a row, ending several months of decline from the peak of the initial Omicron wave in January 2022 and heightening concerns that a new surge is upon us.

The rate of nursing home resident deaths nationwide increased by more than 50% in the four-week period ending June 19, according to AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, compared to the previous Dashboard release, with more than 750 resident deaths reported. 

Here in Louisiana, resident deaths were up from 2 in the previous four-week period ending May 22, to 7 in the four-week period ending June 19.   Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,292 nursing home residents in Louisiana have died from COVID-19.

Furthermore, the rate of resident cases nationwide increased by 27%, compared to the previous four weeks, according to the Dashboard, while the rate of staff cases nationwide increased by 42% during the same reporting period.

Nursing home resident cases in Louisiana were up from 204 in the previous four-week period ending May 22, to 656 in the four-week period ending June 19. Staff cases were up from 217 to 571.

“Our loved ones in nursing homes are among the most vulnerable,” said Denise Bottcher, State Director of AARP, which serves more than 430,000 members age 50 and older in Louisiana. Rising deaths and cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff nationally show that for their sakes, we must remain vigilant, and we must hold nursing homes accountable for providing high-quality care and safe environments.”

The latest data from the AARP COVID-19 Nursing Home Dashboard shows that as of June 19, 69.6% of nursing home residents in Louisiana were fully vaccinated with at least one booster dose, a slight increase from mid-May.   Among nursing home staff, 30.2% are fully vaccinated with at least one booster dose, a slight increase from mid-May.  

AARP Louisiana continues to fight to protect nursing home residents and ensure long-term care facilities provide high-quality care. If you have an older spouse, sibling, parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, here are eight key questions to ask, as recommended by experts:

  • How far along are COVID-19 vaccinations?
  • Has anyone in the facility tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks?
  • What is the facility doing to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks?
  • How are staff and other people entering the facility being screened for COVID-19?
  • What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?
  • How is the facility communicating important information to residents and their loved ones on a regular basis?
  • Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?
  •  How are healthy-living programs being maintained?

The AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020. Using this data, the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the Dashboard to provide snapshots of the virus' infiltration into nursing homes and its impact on nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner.

The full AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard. Medicare.gov's Care Compare website now offers information about vaccination and booster rates within individual nursing homes and how they compare to state and national averages.

For more information on how coronavirus is impacting nursing homes and AARP's advocacy on this issue, visit www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.

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Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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