Just like the wider community, America’s nursing homes are again being overwhelmed by coronavirus cases despite improved testing rates, wider distribution of PPE and visitor restrictions.
10,279 COVID-19 cases were recorded among aged care residents during the week of 1 November – higher than the previous record of 9,903 cases in late July, according to a new report by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
“We have been begging people the last eight months to wear a mask, socially distance and to be careful,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Unfortunately, the public has not listened or complied.”
As you can see from the graph above, the number of deaths began increasing in October, reaching 1,431 during the first week of November.
Given the lag in deaths following new infections, the report forecasts an increase in the number of aged care deaths over the next two to three weeks.
While the latest data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which regulates aged care homes, says there have been more than 426,000 coronavirus cases and just over 65,000 COVID deaths in American aged care homes, The Atlantic newspaper’s COVID Tracking Project says these figures are closer to 603,000 and more than 94,000 deaths.
The US has now recorded over 11.6 million coronavirus cases and more than 250,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.