Sharp downturn in nursing home COVID-19 cases, death after vaccinations started

February 25, 2021
Peter Wehrwein

A New York Times analysis of federal data shows that deaths declined by 65% between late December and early February.

COVID-19 incidence and mortality has dropped significantly since the beginning of the effort to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff, according to a New York Times story today.

The newspaper’s analysis of federal data found that new cases among nursing home residents fell by 80% from late December through early February and that the deaths decreased by 65%.

Nursing homes were hit hard early on during the pandemic and through much of 2020. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in November that the death toll of long-term care residents and staff had reached 100,000.

From the beginning of April through the end of July, deaths among nursing home residents and staff accounted for about 40.6% of all COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S.

That proportion was calculated by taking the foundation’s tally of 62,718 long-term care facility deaths as of July 2020 as a percentage of the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center’s cumulative COVID-19 death total of 154,500 at the end of July 31, 2020.