‘Safest Place In The City’: COVID Cases In Nursing Homes Drop 89% As Residents Vaccinate
New federal data offers a glimmer of hope in what has been the darkest and deadliest corner of the pandemic.
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at America’s nursing homes has dropped significantly since December as millions of vaccine doses have been shot into the arms of residents and staff.
The weekly rate of COVID-19 cases at nursing homes plummeted 89% from early December through the second week of February. By comparison, the nationwide case rate dropped 58% and remains higher than figures reported before late October.
David Gifford, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association, said the data shows the vaccine is protecting nursing home residents and staff, and perhaps represents the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
But he cautioned more research is needed to determine how much the drop in cases is attributable to vaccine.
“It’s a little tricky because the cases and deaths are going down everywhere,” Gifford said. “The question is, are they going down because of the vaccine, or are they going down because we’re on the backside of the outbreak. … It’s a combination of both.”