The U.S. has gotten no better at keeping the coronavirus out of nursing homes.
Why it matters: The number of nursing home cases has consistently tracked closely with the number of cases in the broader community — and that's very bad news as overall cases continue to skyrocket.
By the numbers: There were more than 16,000 confirmed nursing home cases during the week of Nov. 15., according to a report by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
- Nearly half of new nursing home cases that week were in the Midwest.
- Cases nationally grew by more than 177% between mid-September and mid-November, mirroring the steady rise in caseloads overall.
- Deaths are also rising, topping 2,000 that same week.
What they're saying: "Our worst fears have come true as COVID runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread," said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
- "This level of COVID nationwide puts serious strain on our workforce, supplies, and testing capacity."
The bottom line: We're not going to control the pandemic in the general population, which means the virus will continue to find its way into nursing homes.
- The only bright spot on the horizon for nursing home residents is that a vaccine will soon be available, and they'll be among the first people to receive it.