Weekly COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities increased nearly twofold between mid-September and mid-November, according to new data from the nation’s largest nursing home association.
An updated situation report released Tuesday by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living revealed that cases among residents at facilities grew by more than 177% from mid-September to the week of Nov. 15.
“With millions of Americans failing to heed advice from public health experts and traveling during Thanksgiving, we are extremely concerned that this situation will only get much worse,” Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL president and CEO said in a statement.
“At this point, long term care facilities desperately need public health officials at every level to take emergency steps to get control of the community spread and ensure our facilities have the resources they need,” he added.
There were 5,877 confirmed weekly cases in U.S. nursing homes on Sept. 13. By Nov. 15, providers reported 16,257 new weekly cases. Nearly half of the cases (49%) were from Midwestern states, which saw an 400% increase in weekly cases during the same timeframe.
COVID-related deaths recently also hit a grim milestone for the first time since early June. There were 2,018 resident deaths reported during the week of Nov. 15. The last time there were more than 2,000 resident deaths in a week was the weeks of May 31 and June 7.
A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a total of 100,033 long-term care residents and staff members have died from COVID-19 as of Nov. 24.