Nursing homes warn of another COVID-19 spike due to community spread

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Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWCH) - The American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), released a report Monday (Oct. 19) showing nursing homes in the U.S. could see a third spike in new COVID-19 cases due to community spread among the general population.

The AHCA/NCAL represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted-living communities across the U.S. Those facilities provide care to about five million people each year, the agencies report.

Recent data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that with the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases, in late September, weekly cases at nursing homes rose for the first time in seven weeks after new cases had dropped significantly throughout August and early September. Johns Hopkins University reported that in late September, COVID-19 cases in the general U.S. population rose by 62,139 per week, correlating to an uptick in nursing home cases during the week of Sept. 27.

“The number one factor in keeping COVID out of our nursing homes, so we can protect our vulnerable population is reducing the level of the virus in the surrounding community,” stated Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “While the support we have received from Congress, the Administration and other public health agencies have helped our facilities fight this battle, we could still see another wave of COVID cases caused by the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus.”

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