Nursing Homes Are (Still) COVID-19 Hotspots, But The Facilities Aren’t The Problem
It’s been eight long months since the COVID crisis hit the United States, and due to a lack of governmental oversight, there is seemingly no end in sight. Numbers across the country are exploding. Schools, cities, and entire states are facing tightened restrictions and complete shutdowns, and families remain socially distanced. For many (ahem, see also: responsible-ass adults) Thanksgiving and Christmas will take place over Zoom. And while no one — or place — is immune to this illness, one population remains particularly at-risk: those living in nursing homes.
In fact, according to a recent report, nursing homes are seeing a record number of new COVID cases.
The data, released by Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities. And while the report shows a marked increase in cases across the country, Midwestern communities have been particularly hard hit. During the first week of November, nearly half of all new COVID cases in nursing homes came from Midwest states. As a result, the Midwest region has seen a 200 percent increase in weekly COVID cases in nursing homes since September.
“Our worst fears have come true as COVID runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread,” Mark Parkinson, the president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, said in a statement. “Our health care heroes are doing everything they can to prevent it from spreading further, but this level of COVID nationwide puts serious strain on our workforce, supplies, and testing capacity.”