New AARP report shows 40.3% of Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes reported new staff cases of COVID-19 in the four weeks ending July 18, 2021
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – AARP today release the Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, tracking nursing home data including cases, deaths, resident and staff vaccination rates. Although the new report shows a slight increase in healthcare staff vaccination rates, from 42 to 45 percent since last month’s report, Florida continues to rank second worst in the nation for vaccination of nursing home staff.
AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said, “It is sadly no surprise that Florida has the most nursing homes with new COVID-19 cases among staff. We saw this coming when it became clear that Florida trailed the nation in vaccinations of healthcare workers. Unvaccinated staff members living in communities with rising coronavirus cases makes it inevitable that our nursing home residents will suffer.
“The delta variant of this virus is hitting Florida hard, and our most vulnerable residents are paying the price. This new AARP report highlights the urgent need for vaccination of nursing home workers who are caring for our loved ones daily. It’s astounding that since April 2021, Florida’s vaccination rate of nursing home staff has been almost stagnant and is still far below the industry standard of 75 percent and the national average of 60.4 percent.
“As record-breaking cases continue to soar across the state, it’s time to double down on all efforts to increase vaccination of nursing home staff. Forty-five percent is unacceptable. We can do better; we must do better.
“AARP encourages residents and staff in long-term care facilities to get a free COVID vaccine to protect yourself, your family and your community. Some nursing homes are getting it right by offering stipends and other benefits as incentives for workers to get the vaccine. We applaud facilities going the distance to ensure their employees have the confidence they need to get vaccinated.”
In the four weeks ending July 18, 2021, the percent of Florida nursing homes reporting new staff cases of COVID-19 increased from 26 percent to 40.3 percent, the highest in the nation. The percent of new resident cases increased during the same time period, from 11 percent to 12.6 percent, more than twice the national average of 4.4 percent. Approximately 18 percent of Florida’s nursing homes continue to suffer from staffing shortages, slightly lower than the previous month’s report.
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Percent of Nursing Homes with New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 Among Staff
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.