Thursday, May 28, 2020
In at least 22 states, more than half the reported COVID-19 fatalities have occurred in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state-reported data aggregated by researchers at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), a free market think tank focused on low-income Americans. Across the 39 states that report the location of COVID-19 deaths, 42 percent have occurred in nursing and residential care facilities, a tally that includes facilities for the care of people with disabilities as well as hospice programs.
And the 42 percent figure may even be undercounting nursing home deaths. As Avik Roy, president of FREOPP, explained in an article for Forbes, some states (including New York, which has experienced a large COVID-19 outbreak) "exclude from their nursing home death tallies those who die in a hospital, even if they were originally infected in an assisted living facility."Some states made policy choices in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that may have made nursing homes even more vulnerable to the disease. Governors in some states"including Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania"prevented nursing homes from turning away patients with active COVID-19 infections. Those policies likely helped spread the disease to some of the most vulnerable populations.
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