AARP Eye Center
Nationally, Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise among nursing home residents and staff, increasing 50% among residents and 60% among staff in July 12-18, compared to the preceding week, according to the latest data from AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard.
Unfortunately for Wyoming, its four COVID-19 nursing home deaths over the four weeks ending July 18, and its low population of nursing home residents relative to the rest of the country, have combined to give The Cowboy State the nation’s highest COVID-19 nursing home death rate at .2 deaths per 100 residents. That ranks Wyoming just ahead of Kansas (.19) and Arkansas (.18), which were also above the national average of .03 resident deaths per 100 residents.
Wyoming’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among nursing home staff dropped in the four week period ending July 18 from 1.3 per 100 residents to 1.0 confirmed cases per 100 residents. However, that also remains well above the national average of .3%. Just over 37% of Wyoming nursing homes reported staffing shortages of direct care workers in Wyoming over the four week period ending July 18. The US average of nursing homes reporting staffing shortages was 23.7%.
Wyoming’s percentage of COVID-19 vaccination rates among nursing home staff also remains below the national average. Just 51% of nursing home staff are vaccinated, compared to the national average of 60%. Staff vaccination rates ranged from a low of 44% in Louisiana to 87% in Hawaii. Just 8.6% of Wyoming nursing home facilities have 75% or more of their staff vaccinated. According to the Nursing Home Dashboard there were 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among nursing home staff in Wyoming during the last four weeks.
In more positive news, Wyoming’s Nursing Home Resident Cases dropped from over the four week period ending July 18, from 1.1 resident cases per 100 residents to just .3 resident cases per 100 residents (or 6 total cases inside the state’s nursing homes). That ratio has Wyoming ranked 10th in the nation for the lowest percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases per nursing home resident over the last four weeks. Wyoming’s nursing home also reported no urgent need for personal protective equipment, making Wyoming one of six states to report no facilities with an urgent need for PPE.
“The increases are concerning given the rise of new variants, the gaps in vaccinations among those in nursing homes, and the disproportionate numbers of deaths due to COVID-19 and high risk in these facilities throughout the pandemic,” says AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway. “More than 186,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 – representing around 30% of deaths, even though less than 1% of the population lives in these facilities.”
Over 88% of Wyoming’s nursing home residents are fully vaccinated, placing Wyoming inside the top 15 in the nation. Vermont’s nursing homes boast a 95% vaccination rate among their nursing home residents, while Arizona has the nation’s lowest rate at 64%.
About the Dashboard
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.