Nursing home COVID-19 deaths as high as 32,000

Nursing home COVID-19 deaths as high as 32,000

wanderluster/iStock(NEW YORK) — After weeks of both anecdotal and verified reports of high COVID-19 mortality rates at U.S. nursing homes and assisted care facilities, new government data shows pandemic deaths there number nearly 32,000. 

Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the week ending May 31 shows there were 31,782 COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents, as well as 58,288 total suspected coronavirus cases and 95,515 confirmed cases. 

With U.S. COVID-19 deaths numbering 108,211 as of Friday morning, the CMS numbers show nursing home deaths account for nearly 30% of all pandemic deaths in America.

Accepting conventional wisdom from experts that the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. is likely significantly higher, it’s also likely that the number of nursing home COVID-19 infections and deaths is higher than reported. 

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are seeing higher rates of infection and deaths in part because of the generally poor premorbid health of the residents, coupled with close living proximity, and often poorly trained staff and/or a lack of adequate number of staff.

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