In The Cost of Inaction: 19 Deaths an Hour and Rising (Dec. 2020), Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) describe the worsening coronavirus crisis in nursing homes, updating their two earlier reports. More than 104,000 residents and workers have died of COVID-19.
The Senators call for:
a national strategy to save lives in nursing homes, including a sufficient supply of PPE, ample access to testing, resources for vaccine distribution, funding for strike teams and adequate workforce supports, and accountability measures to uphold resident rights and permit safe visits with family.
They also call on Congress “to pass a comprehensive COVID relief package.”
The report’s four findings document the growing crisis:
- “In November, more than 15 nursing home residents died of COVID-19 per hour, with 19 residents dying each hour during the week of November 22, 2020.”
- “The number of weekly COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents has increased 133 percent since Labor Day, and 96 percent among nursing home workers.” Id.
- “Rising COVID-19 infection rates suggest that death rates will continue increasing in nursing homes.”
Between September 6 and November 22, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents increased by 181%, from approximately 7,500 residents to 21,200 residents. In the same period, the number of confirmed cases among workers increased by 184%, from approximately 7,000 workers to 20,000 workers.
- “Workforce shortages have increased since Labor Day: In November, one in six nursing homes nationwide reported that they do not have a sufficient workforce.”
The Senators’ analysis of CMS data finds that facilities have reported nurse shortages for multiple months. “Specifically, 50 percent of the nursing homes reporting nursing staff shortages on November 1, 2020 had been reporting those same shortages for the previous two months.”
For further information, please see:
- The Cost of Inaction: 19 Deaths an Hour and Rising is available at The Cost of Inaction. 19 Deaths and Hour and Rising.pdf (senate.gov)
The two earlier reports are:
- Senators Bob Casey, Gary Peters, & Ron Wyden, COVID-19 in Nursing Homes: How the Trump Administration Failed Residents and Workers, (Jul. 1, 2020), https://www.aging.senate.gov/download/covid-19-in-nursing-homes
- Senators Bob Casey & Ron Wyden, The Cost of Inaction: 11 Deaths An Hour (Sep. 22, 2020), https://www.aging.senate.gov/download/the-cost-of-inaction