New Nursing Home Coronavirus Cases Reach Their Lowest Numbers since Data Tracking Began: Deaths in Nursing Homes Drop 80 Percent Following Vaccines

Following the rollout of vaccines to American long-term care facilities that began late last year, new COVID cases and coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes have sharply declined, says an article in the New York Times. Per the New York Times analysis of federal data, new cases in nursing homes have dropped by more than 80 percent and resident deaths have fallen by more than 65 percent between late December (when vaccines were first prioritized to long-term care residents and workers) and February. In that time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.1 million long-term care residents have been fully vaccinated, and another 2.4 million have received the first dose of the vaccine.

According to the article, which referenced experts from the American Health Care Association and the Yale School of Public Heath, as well as data from the CDC, the swift turnaround is largely thanks to vaccinations. In a study comparing caseloads of nearly 800 nursing homes that already received the vaccine with nearby homes that had yet to receive it, the American Health Care Association saw a more significant decline (27 percent more) of cases in homes where residents were vaccinated. More research needs to be done to discover if the vaccine’s first dose is more efficacious than originally thought, and also to determine how community transmission might impact the decline in case numbers and deaths.

“If we are seeing a robust response with this vaccine with the elderly with a highly contagious disease,” said American Health Care Association chief medical officer Dr. David Gifford, “I think that’s a great sign for the rest of the population.”

The federal government began tracking coronavirus cases in American nursing homes last May. Today’s number of new nursing home COVID cases reflects the lowest numbers since tracking began. Since the first outbreak of COVID in a Seattle area home last year, the coronavirus has ravaged long-term care facilities across the country, leading to the death of more than 163,000 residents and staff and accounting for more than a third of all COVID deaths in America.

Preserving the Safety of Your Loved One

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has created challenges to the safety and well-being of Philadelphia/PA or NJ nursing home residents. Ensuring that the Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives is taking every measure to secure his or her safety in all circumstances is paramount. If the safety or quality of care of a Philadelphia/PA or NJ facility during COVID-19 concerns you, or if you suspect neglect, abuse, or fraud has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.