New data show COVID-19 deaths and cases in America’s nursing homes have declined for the third consecutive month. However, increases in the rate of deaths in as many as 18 states, show the virus still poses a significant threat to some of our most vulnerable loved ones.
According to AARP's Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, during the four weeks ending April 23, the rate of COVID-19 resident deaths nationwide declined by about one-quarter compared to the four weeks ending March 26. Resident cases nationwide were down by about one-third during the same period, with staff cases also down by about one-third compared to the previous four weeks. However, in addition to the increase in death rates in 18 states, nine states had an increase in the rate of resident cases, and six states had an increase in staff cases.
In Virginia, resident deaths stayed the same in the four weeks ending April 23, compared to the previous four weeks, with resident cases down by nearly 36% and staff cases down by 45% during the same period.
The new data also show up-to-date vaccination rates among nursing home residents and staff nationwide are at a standstill, with numbers unchanged since last month. For the Dashboard period ending April 23, 54% of nursing home residents nationwide were up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and only 22% of staff nationwide were up to date, the same rates as the earlier reporting period. In Virginia, 54% of residents and 20% of staff were up to date on their vaccinations, nearly the same as the last reporting period.
This latest Dashboard data is released as the COVID-19 federal Public Health Emergency ended; it expired on May 11. However, despite the recent national declines, resident and staff cases stay much higher than during the low points of Spring 2021 and Spring 2022.
Virginia facilities reporting a shortage of nurses or aides was 19% for the four weeks ending April 23, a slight decrease over the previous reporting period. “
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 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.
This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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