The total number of COVID-19 cases found in nursing homes has been on the decline, both for staff and residents, for the past several weeks, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The 3,542 COVID-19 cases found in nursing home residents last week is the lowest number reported since the week ending on Aug. 8.
After a marginal increase in COVID case counts was seen among nursing home residents towards the end of July, likely due to the emergence of the delta variant, the rate of COVID-19, now at 3.23 per resident week, has been falling since Sept. 12.
CDC data shows that 5,354 resident cases were found in nursing homes for the week ending on Sept. 12 for a rate of 4.72 cases per 1,000 residents. That’s up from a pandemic low 0.28 cases per 1,000 residents seen on June 27.
The same goes for resident deaths, with 514 reported to the CDC last week, down from 646 for the week of Sept. 19.
Staff COVID-19 rates have also dropped, though staff death numbers are a bit more in flux.
The staff rate decline has been more pronounced than the resident numbers with 4,057 cases reported last week, for a rate of 3.72 per 1,000 resident weeks, down from 7,450, or a rate of 6.53 cases, seen on Aug. 29.
The Biden administration announced a vaccine mandate for all nursing home staff in mid-August and, at the time, about 82.4% of residents and 60% of staff per facility were vaccinated, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported.
CMS data now shows that 84.6% of nursing home residents nationwide are vaccinated and 67.1% of staff have now been vaccinated, according to data last updated on Oct. 7.
The COVID-19 death rate among nursing home staff paints a slightly different picture, however.
It shows that 36 deaths were reported among nursing home staff last week, a high since Feb. 7, when 38 deaths were reported.