Jan 14, 2021
New AARP Analysis Shows Rate of COVID Cases and Deaths in Nursing Homes Has Quadrupled in Three Months
Nursing Homes Are in Crisis Nationwide; 87% Report at Least One Staff Case in Most Recent Four-Week Period

WASHINGTON – The latest release of AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard shows a worsening crisis from coast to coast. In the four-week period ending December 20, about one in 10 residents was diagnosed with coronavirus, and nearly 9 in 10 nursing homes (87%) reported that at least one staff member was diagnosed. The national rates of COVID cases and deaths in these facilities have approximately quadrupled in the last three months. From September 2020 to December 2020, nursing homes reported that:

  • New confirmed cases among residents increased from 2.6 to 10.8 per 100 residents
  • New confirmed cases among staff increased from 2.5 to 9.3 per 100 residents
  • Deaths among residents increased from 0.48 to 1.88 per 100 residents

Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) have declined slightly over the same period, from 26% of nursing homes without a one-week supply in September to 18% in December. Given that nearly every nursing home reported staff infections and more than half reported resident cases, it is alarming that so many nursing homes still do not have adequate PPE. Staffing shortages remain a persistent problem, with 30% of facilities reporting a shortage in the most recent dashboard, a slight increase from 28% three months ago. As of January 12, more than 136,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities had died from COVID-19.

“Almost a year into the pandemic, nursing home residents and staff remain sitting ducks for the coronavirus. Our latest analysis shows that the crisis has moved beyond regional spikes to encompass every state in the continental U.S.” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “Action must be taken immediately to stop this national tragedy. In addition to fundamental reform of how nursing homes protect the health and safety of their residents, vaccines must be made available to these vulnerable seniors and the people who care for them as quickly as possible.”

The AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020. Earlier this year, AARP fought for public reporting of nursing home COVID-19 cases and deaths. Using this data, the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the dashboard to provide snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner.

The full COVID-19 Nursing Home Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard. For more information on how COVID is impacting nursing homes and AARP’s advocacy on this issue, visit www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

For further information: Amanda Davis, 202-434-2560, adavis@aarp.org, @AARPMedia