Healthcare worker checks fever of patient with infrared thermometer. Both wear protective face masks.
Credit: Getty Images

Nursing homes are experiencing an alarming jump in COVID-19 cases, a new report by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living has revealed. 

Weekly data showed that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in nursing homes surged to more than 8,600 in mid-July, after declining throughout June. Cases dropped from about 9,000 in late May to about 5,400 by late June.

Nursing home deaths, however, have steadily decreased despite the significant spike in reported cases, the analysis noted. The number of coronavirus-related deaths dropped weekly from late May when there were more than 3,000 reported deaths, to mid-July when  there were about 1,400 additional reported deaths. 

“With the recent major spikes of COVID cases in many states across the country, we were very concerned this trend would lead to an increase in cases in nursing homes and unfortunately it has,” AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson said in a statement. 

“This is especially troubling since many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are still unable to acquire the personal protective equipment and testing they need to fully combat this virus.”

The AHCA/NCAL report is based on data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It also linked cases in nursing homes to community spread. A June study found that facility location and the surrounding community’s degree of coronavirus saturation was a key factor in whether a facility would have a COVID-19 case.