RICHMOND – Nursing home residents and staff experienced an increase in coronavirus in the four weeks ending August 22, with resident cases increasing from .02 to .51 per 100 residents and staff cases increasing from.09 to 1.05 per 100 residents since the mid-July report, according to the latest data from AARP's Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard. Despite the increase, nursing home deaths in Virginia have decreased from .05 to .01 per 100 residents over the previous four-week period. Cases are concentrated among the unvaccinated: nationally, those residents were three times as likely to contract COVID-19 last month compared to residents who are fully vaccinated.
AARP has called on long-term care facilities to require that staff and residents without a medical or religious exemption be vaccinated against coronavirus, and the Biden Administration announced plans in August to require vaccination for nursing home staff. There were modest increases in vaccination rates in this four-week period, with nearly 83% of Virginia’s nursing home residents and 71% of staff fully vaccinated as of August 22. The national averages show 84% of residents and 64% of staff fully vaccinated.
"This month's dashboard underscores the importance of vaccines for staff and residents of long-term care facilities," said AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau. "For unvaccinated nursing home residents, their risk of an infection is back up to the levels we saw a year ago. At least 2,670 people in Virginia who lived and worked in nursing facilities have died from COVID-19, and no one wants to see another spike of preventable deaths of even more people."
The AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard also found a 5% increase in staff shortages in the period ending August 22, with nearly 25% of facilities in Virginia reporting they did not have sufficient staff. Nationally, staffing shortages increased month-to-month by the largest number since data collection began in the spring of 2020.
The AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020. Using this data, the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the dashboard to provide snapshots of the virus' infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner.
The full Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard, and an AARP story about this month's data is available here. For more information on how COVID is impacting nursing homes and AARP's advocacy on this issue, visit www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.