Louisiana Nursing Home Staff Cases Rising, Facilities Still Lack Adequate PPE and Staff

Posted on 12/18/20

The latest update of the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard finds Louisiana’s nursing homes continue to face concerning trends, including rising staff cases and continuing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff. As COVID-19 brings to light longstanding flaws in the nation’s long-term care system, AARP’s Public Policy Institute also unveiled a new report in a series of strategies to improve the quality of long-term services and supports (LTSS).

In the four weeks analyzed, October 19 to November 15, AARP’s dashboard reports that Louisiana nursing homes had:  

  • 476 new staff COVID-19 cases, up from 393
  • 456 new COVID-19 cases, down from 471 in the previous four-week period
  • 36.7% of nursing homes with staffing shortages, down from 37.2%
  • 70 COVID-19 deaths, down from 72
  • 17.4% of nursing homes without a 1-week supply of PPE, down from 20.4%

“With coronavirus surging across the country, nursing home residents remain in grave danger as the virus reenters nursing homes and other facilities at an alarming pace,” said AARP Louisiana State Director, Denise Bottcher. “Facilities continue to have shortages of the staff and PPE needed to keep residents and workers safe and stop the spread. Our state leaders must act now to save lives.”

As the pandemic continues to place a spotlight on the shortcomings of the country’s long-term care system, the AARP Public Policy Institute has launched LTSS Choices, a multifaceted project designed to advance the transformation and modernization of the nation’s long-term services and supports (LTSS) system. A new report in the series examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care facilities and solutions to improve quality. Recommendations highlighted in the report include:

  • Keeping current plans in place for emergencies that address both resident and staff needs
  • Creating state LTSS emergency operations and response centers to identify emergency needs and deploy resources
  • Increasing resident access to telehealth as a supplement to in-person care
  • Ensuring resident care plans address their isolation, risk for depression, and ability to interact with loved ones
  • Ensuring long-term care staff have health insurance, paid sick leave, and competitive wages
  • Encouraging new models of LTSS facilities that can improve infection control with private rooms and bathrooms
  • Imposing more meaningful fines and other penalties, especially for facilities that place residents in immediate jeopardy due to infection control violations

Bottcher added, “AARP will continue fighting to protect nursing home residents now and offering solutions to improve our long-term care system for the decades to come.”

Using data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—which is self-reported by nursing homes—the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard to provide four-week snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff. The dashboard will continue to be updated every four weeks. The complete dashboard is available at aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard.

The LTSS Choices series, including “COVID-19 and Nursing Home Residents,” is available at aarp.org/ltsschoices.

More resources and information on COVID-19 and nursing homes can be found at aarp.org/nursinghomes.

This story is provided by AARP Louisiana. Visit the AARP Louisiana page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Baton Rouge

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


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.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Baton Rouge
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW