The Delta Variant Caused A Spike In Deaths Among Nursing Home Residents
Although nursing home deaths from Covid-19 remain dramatically down from their peak at the end of last year, an analysis shows a significant uptick in August as the Delta variant swept through the country.
After declining for months, the number of deaths rose sharply from July to August. Nursing homes reported nearly 1,800 deaths among their residents and staff in August, which represented the highest monthly toll since February.
The findings underscore the ongoing vulnerability of nursing home residents, who are old and in poor health, and highlight the importance of getting booster shots to people in this population. The rising number of infections could fuel more calls to vaccinate nursing home workers ahead of the federal requirement announced in August by President Biden.
Nursing homes were especially hard hit early on in the pandemic, accounting for nearly a third of the country’s overall deaths through the end of June. However, the vaccination of residents brought the monthly number of deaths down from a high of around 22,000 in December and January to around 300 for June and July.
While the vaccination rate among residents is now approaching 85 percent, only about 65 percent of nursing home employees are vaccinated, roughly the same percentage as American adults overall.
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