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Florida Leads Nation in Number of COVID-19 Deaths of Nursing Home Residents and Staff

New AARP report shows 237 resident deaths occurred in Florida’s nursing homes in the four weeks ending August 22, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – AARP today released the Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, which tracks nursing home data including cases, deaths, resident and staff vaccination rates. The new report shows that Florida leads the nation with 237 nursing home resident deaths from COVID-19, representing 21 percent of 1,125 total COVID-19 deaths occurring in nursing homes across the United States. Florida also has the highest number of nursing home staff who are dying of COVID-19, with 13 deaths occurring in the state over the same time period, representing 17 percent of 76 total staff deaths nationally.

AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said, “It is a frightening, tragic time in our state. The new data released in today’s dashboard is a heartbreaking reminder that the pandemic is not over. As vaccination rates have stalled, COVID cases have risen, and Florida nursing home deaths have soared to the highest in the nation.

“These sadly predictable data trends are also preventable. Our most vulnerable residents deserve to be protected from this devastating disease. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated. As we remember and honor the thousands of Floridians who have died in our state’s long-term care system, AARP encourages all those who are eligible, to get vaccinated to protect your family and your community from COVID-19.”

  • While the vaccination rate of Florida’s nursing home staff increased from 45 percent to 48 percent in the latest dashboard report, Florida is one of only three states still below 50 percent in vaccination of staff at nursing homes (joining Missouri and Louisiana).
  • The Sunshine State continues to be far below the industry standard of 75 percent staff vaccination and the national average of 63.5 percent.
  • Only seven percent, or approximately 50 of Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes, have met the industry standard and vaccinated at least 75 percent of their staff.
  • The percent of Florida nursing homes reporting new staff cases of COVID-19 more than doubled since the previous month’s report, increasing from 40.3 percent to 94 percent, the highest in the nation and nearly double the national average of 51 percent.
  • The percent of new resident cases quadrupled during the same time period, from 12.6 percent to 61 percent, three times the national average of 20 percent.
  • Approximately 22 percent of Florida’s nursing homes continue to suffer from staffing shortages, up from 18 percent in the previous month’s report.

Check out the up-to-date vaccine resources at www.aarp.org/flvaccine. To find a vaccine in your area, visit the Florida Department of Health’s Vaccine Locator. If you or a loved one are homebound, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs will meet you at home for vaccination. For older Floridians who need assistance, call 1-800-96-ELDER, to schedule your shot.

Using data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—which is self-reported by nursing homes—the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard to provide four-week snapshots of the virus' infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff.

The federal data do not include coronavirus cases among residents or staff of assisted-living facilities, group homes and other congregate elder-care facilities.

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