Nursing homes around the nation experienced a 400% increase in COVID-19 related deaths between July and August this past summer. Furthermore, the COVID death toll increased faster in nursing homes, according to a new KFF report, than in community settings. The number of COVID-related deaths jumped from 350 in July to almost 1,800 in August. This marks the highest number of nursing home deaths in a single month since February. The increase is due to the spread of the Delta variant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant spreads more easily than previous variants and could cause more than twice as many infections. The CDC highlights that older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, meaning they might need hospitalization, intensive care, or face a higher likelihood of death. COVID-related deaths in long-term care facilities currently account for one-third of the nation’s total death toll.
October 7, 2021 – C. St. John
 Chidambaram, P., & Garfield, R. Nursing Homes Experienced Steeper Increase in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in August 2021 than the Rest of the Country. KFF. Oct. 1, 2021). Available at: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/nursing-homes-experienced-steeper-increase-in-covid-19-cases-and-deaths-in-august-2021-than-the-rest-of-the-country/
 CDC. Delta Variant: What We Know About the Science. (Aug. 26, 2021). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html
 CDC. Older Adults Risks and Vaccine Information. (Aug. 2, 2021). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/aging/covid19/covid19-older-adults.html
 KFF. State COVID-19 Data and Policy Actions. (Updated Oct. 6, 2021). Available at: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/state-covid-19-data-and-policy-actions/