According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have released a report today showing that nursing homes have seen an alarming spike in new COVID cases as a result of community spread among the general population.
Because of the highly contagious Omicron variant, COVID cases among residents and nursing staff in nursing homes have been rapidly increasing in the past few weeks. Experts have repeatedly pointed out that COVID-19 cases in a surrounding community are a key indicator of outbreaks in nursing homes.
“As soon as news of Omicron broke in December, we were very concerned this variant would lead to a surge of cases in the U.S. and therefore, an increase in cases in nursing homes and unfortunately it has,” stated Mark Parkinson, President, and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). “We urged members of the public to help us protect our nation’s seniors ahead of the holiday season, and we reiterate that plea today. Help support our frontline caregivers and safeguard our most vulnerable by getting vaccinated, boosted, and masked.”
The report also showed that while COVID-related deaths among nursing home residents have increased in recent weeks, the rate of deaths is 10 times less compared to December 2020 due to high vaccination and booster rates among residents. AHCA/NCAL is calling on public health officials at every level of government to take immediate steps to support nursing homes and assisted living communities during the Omicron surge, including prioritizing long-term care for testing, treatments, and workforce support. To read the full report, click here.