A sick nursing home resident lies in bed
Credit: Morsa Images

COVID-19 deaths among nursing home staff members are again surging throughout facilities, hitting their highest level since January of this year, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Nursing homes reported a total of 120 COVID staff deaths from the weeks of June 12 through July 17, CDC data shows. That is the highest six-week death total since reaching 125 from the weeks of Dec. 16 through Jan. 30.

Confirmed cases among nursing home residents have also been steadily rising since late May when confirmed cases reached 9,125.  Case counts among residents reached 11,712 and 11,145 during the weeks of July 10 and 17, respectively, according to the CDC. 

AARP’s Public Policy Institute has also reported that one in 35 nursing home residents tested positive for COVID-19 in June, which was a 27% increase from the month of May. 

It also found that the death rate from COVID between May and June of this year nearly doubled, from 0.04 deaths per hundred residents to 0.07. 

Nationwide, COVID infection rates were up 24% in June, according to the CDC. 

“The number of cases is pretty high. It’s as high as it was during the summer and fall of 2020, before there was a vaccine. It’s higher than it was during the delta wave last year,” Ari Houser, a senior methods advisor for AARP, told 19th News Friday.

The CDC earlier this month urged seniors not to wait until the fall to get their COVID-19 booster shots in response to the spike in cases and hospitalizations among residents.

“It’s essential that these Americans … get their second booster shot right away,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. 

She added that a second booster shot will provide a higher level of protection against the new omicron variants than a single shot will. As proof, she noted that data show that vaccinated people with a primary series of shots plus one booster dose had four times the risk of dying from COVID-19 than those with two or more booster doses.