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The number of COVID-19 cases across the country is rising at an alarming rate, and the long term care industry is concerned that it may cause a correlating spike of new cases in nursing homes and assisted living communities. Even though the vaccine was prioritized for long term care residents and staff and yielded a sharp decline in nursing home cases and deaths, the pandemic persists, and we are not yet out of the woods, industry officials warn.
Increasing cases in the community can have a devastating impact on long term care residents and staff. Independent research from our nation’s top academic institutions and the federal government indicate that the rate of spread within a surrounding community is a primary factor in the likelihood of an outbreak in a nursing home.
The latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicates that as of March 30, 177 counties in the U.S. have a community positivity rate of higher than 10 percent, a 43 percent increase in three weeks. More than 1,100 nursing homes are in those 177 counties. This is nearly double the amount of nursing homes in red counties from the previous week, which was 620.

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