Coronavirus-linked deaths in US long-term care facilities exceed 10,000

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There have been at least 10,700 coronavirus-related deaths in long-term care facilities across the country, a Wall Street Journal analysis found.

The Journal reported that the deaths occurred in facilities in 35 states that either report data online or responded to requests for information. The virus has been reported in at least 4,800 long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, and the total number of people affected (both staff and residents) stands at more than 56,000.

Long-term care facilities in the Northeast region appear to be the hardest hit, with New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts reporting more than 1,000 deaths in these facilities.

Long-term facilities have been hot spots for the virus, as data shows that severe COVID-19 cases are more likely in those over 65 years. The first major, deadly outbreak of the disease occurred in a Washington state nursing home, where about 40 people died.

Information on COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities can help guide plans for these facilities as states consider reopening society, the Journal reports. Even after restrictions on public life are lifted, current bans on nursing home visitors may remain.

New York and New Jersey have started listing the long-term care facilities with COVID-19 cases, and CMS is now requiring nursing homes to directly report COVID-19 cases to the CDC.

Researchers and nursing home owners say that the full extent of the COVID-19 crisis in long-term care facilities is still unclear because some facilities may not be testing enough, the Journal reports.



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