Nursing homes became the safest place in the city as a significant decline in COVID-19 cases is found after residents got vaccinated. According to new federal data, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at America’s nursing homes has decreased since December as millions of vaccine doses have been shot into the arms of residents and staff. Official reports show that the number of new COVID-19 cases at nursing homes has declined by nearly 50 percent in recent weeks. The major factor behind this decline is the vaccination programs and the officials note that the success came despite a high percentage of nursing home employees refusing to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 Cases In Nursing Homes Declined Significantly
According to reports from AARP, at the end of June, more than 54,000 residents and employees at nursing homes had died from the disease. Also, the officials noted that residents of long-term care facilities constitute less than 1 percent of the US population, yet 43 percent of all COVID-19 deaths through June occurred in these facilities.
Reports show that by comparison, the nationwide case rate dropped 58% and remains higher than figures reported before late October. More than 170,000 Americans have died at nursing homes and starting in late May, more than 15,500 nursing homes had to report new cases among residents to deferral officials each week.
Vaccination of residents and staff likely played an important role
Exerts and officials believe that vaccinations played a significant role in this reduction in cases. Also, it noted that about 2,100 US counties reported new COVID-19 cases during part of the December surge. But, after vaccination, in most places, cases have dropped faster in nursing homes than in the county as a whole. Around 4.5 million residents and staff of nursing homes received at least one dose of vaccination and 2.2 million received both doses. Dr. June McKoy, a Northwestern University associate professor of medicine, preventive medicine, and medical education said, “early data from the federal government provides compelling evidence the vaccine has likely helped keep residents and staff safe. Only one thing has been introduced that could have caused this dramatic shift in the number of cases per day. It is the vaccine”.
Dr. Deborah Lehman, the professor of clinical pediatrics and infectious disease expert at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, says that she and her colleagues are paying close attention to what is happening at nursing homes. “We are all watching the numbers closely. Nursing homes were the main drivers of the early spikes and accounted for the majority of cases early in the epidemic. Many were so devastated early in the pandemic”.