Nursing homes in the Intermountain West states, as well as Alaska and Mississippi, had the highest rates of residents with COVID-19 in the United States from mid-May through mid-July, according to the latest analysis of federal data by the AARP.

Nursing home deaths and cases continued to rise in July for the third consecutive month, with weekly upticks suggesting that the increases have not yet peaked. Resident and staff cases each rose 30% in the four weeks ending July 17, when compared to the prior four weeks. Deaths rose during the same relative time period by 13%, amounting to about 1 in every 1,300 residents during those four weeks.

New Mexico topped the list for resident infections from mid-May to mid-July, with more than 10 cases per 100 residents, followed by Utah (7.6) and Nevada (7.1). Next in line were Washington, Mississippi, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming. Staff cases were highest in Alaska, at 11.2 per 100, followed by the Intermountain states of Washington, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico and Montana. Resident deaths from COVID-19 were highest in Alaska, at 0.18 per 100. 

Vaccinations stalled

COVID-19 vaccination rates remain high in some states but have stalled overall. Nationwide, about three-quarters of residents and 51% of staff were fully vaccinated and had received at least one booster dose by mid-June — almost unchanged compared with the prior month, AARP reported.  

This leaves approximately 300,000 residents and 1 million nursing home staff without a booster dose, “and many of those who have gotten boosters may already be due for another,” the organization wrote in its update.

About 1 in 8 residents (about 150,000) and 1 in 9 staff have yet to be fully vaccinated.

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