Despite Vaccines, Nursing Homes Still Struggle With Covid Outbreaks, Deaths

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Jeannie Wells had hoped that regular visits would resume at her elderly mother’s New York nursing home once all the residents were fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Around Easter, her wish finally came true, and she was able to hold the 93-year-old’s hand more than a year after bringing her mother to the facility for rehabilitation for a fractured hip and knee. But that reunion was short-lived. Visits were quickly stopped for about six weeks after an employee tested positive for Covid-19, and Wells said visits are still far from normal even when there haven’t been outbreaks. Covid-19 vaccines have allowed nursing homes in the U.S. to make dramatic progress since the dark days of the pandemic, but senior care facilities are still experiencing scattered outbreaks that are largely blamed on unvaccinated staff members. The outbreaks and ensuing shutdowns have jolted family members who were just starting to enjoy in-person visits with loved ones for the first time in a year. For full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak While the outbreaks inside nursing homes now are much smaller, less frequent and less severe than during the height of the pandemic, there continue to be hundreds of deaths each week attributed to the coronavirus. According to federal data, 472 nursing home deaths were related to Covid-19 in the first two weeks of May, down from 10,675 in the first two weeks of January. Now we must control the disease from all directions and effectively vaccinate. Nursing homes are still spreading most of the epidemic, and we should do our best to stop it.

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