New COVID-19 cases in nursing homes soar past peak levels

Nursing homes have seen a disturbing spike in coronavirus infections — with the number of new cases now surpassing the peak level that occurred in the spring, new data shows.

There were 9,715 new COVID-19 cases recorded among nursing home residents the week of July 26, up from 9,421 for the same period on May 31, according to a report Monday from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

The spike was driven by new infections from the Sun Belt states, some of which have become hotspots for the virus.

At least 78% of the infected nursing home residents in late July were in the southern region that spans from California to Florida, the data shows.

“With the recent major spikes of COVID cases in many states across the country, we were very concerned this trend would lead to an increase in cases in nursing homes and unfortunately it has,” said Mark Parkinson, who is president of the AHCA/NCAL, in a statement.

“This is especially troubling since many nursing homes and other long term care facilities are still unable to acquire the personal protective equipment and testing they need to fully combat this virus.”

Parkinson is now calling on Congress to provide additional funding to nursing homes and assisted living communities for resources to protect vulnerable residents and staff from the virus, including testing and PPE.

“Without adequate funding and resources, the US will end up repeating the same mistakes from several months ago,” Parkinson said.

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