Image of nurses' hands at computer keyboard

Coronavirus cases at skilled nursing facilities continued to drop at a dramatic rate following more widespread access to COVID vaccines, according to the latest research from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

Federal data showed that 93% of SNFs overall reported no new cases among residents during the week of Feb. 21 — a 28% increase from the week of Dec. 20 when just 65% of facilities reported no new cases. 

Breaking the numbers down by facility size, data showed that 13% of SNFs with more than 150 units reported confirmed cases among residents. Just 7% of facilities with between 100 and 150 units reported new cases, while the number was 5% for SNFs with 50 to 100 units and 2% for providers with fewer than 50 units. 

That “drop in case counts is coincident with more widespread distribution and administration of the vaccines across skilled nursing facilities,” noted NIC data analyst Omar Zahraoui. 

“The average vaccination rate in the U.S has recently picked up to two million per day and will likely continue to increase, suggesting that 100 million Americans who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus will likely be fully vaccinated in the next month or two,” he wrote. 

Overall, newly confirmed cases among SNF residents are down 94% since the launch of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program nine weeks ago. 

There were a total of 32,588 cases reported during the week of Dec. 20, compared to just 1,903 reported during Feb. 21, according to NIC.