Of the nearly 100,000 coronavirus deaths throughout the United States, fatalities at long-term care facilities account for about 40% of them, according to two separate analyses.
New data from the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, a nonprofit think tank, found that the share of deaths in nursing homes and assisted living facilities account for 43% of all COVID-19 deaths nationwide. The figures were based on data reported as of last week in 39 states, study authors Gregg Girvan and Avik Roy explained.
The researchers added the United States is not alone and many countries have struggled with the same issues in nursing homes during the pandemic. They stressed the importance of prioritizing long-term care for access to universal testing and personal protective equipment — a major point of emphasis by providers and groups, including LeadingAge and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.
“States and localities should consider reorienting their policy responses away from younger and healthier people, and toward the elderly, and especially elderly individuals living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” they wrote.
A separate analysis by ABC News found that nursing home fatalities now account for nearly 40% of all coronavirus deaths. The analysis added that the figure is more than 50% in at least 18 states.
“Ten states have still not released figures for infections and deaths in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities. But even limiting the count to the 40 states that have provided figures, as well as Washington, D.C., more than 182,500 nursing home residents and staff members at this point have reportedly contracted COVID-19. That’s more than 14% of the nation’s total nursing care population,” the analysis stated.