Following a discouraging early-fall surge, U.S. nursing homes are seeing sustained downward trends in COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tracking program.
Data submitted by long-term care facilities to the agency’s National Healthcare Safety Network show that rates have steadily fallen since the uptick in September. Resident cases reported through the network have dropped over the four weeks since Sept. 12, staff cases have slid downward since Sept. 5, and resident deaths have continued to decline since Sept. 19.
The declines mirror a declining average daily rate of cases and deaths in the general population. Much of that change is tied to Southern states recovering from the summer’s delta variant surge, according to a CNN report on data from Johns Hopkins University’s dashboard. But some regions instead have seen overall increases.
Whether these trends will continue, or cold weather and holiday gatherings will contribute to another surge or at least an uptick, remains to be seen, experts told CNN. Currently, an average of 1,500 Americans continue to die every day, the news outlet reported.
COVID-19 case rates in nursing homes tend to run parallel to those in the surrounding community.