Almost half of US COVID-19 deaths are linked to nursing homes
Nearly half of the 124,000 people who have died from coronavirus in the US worked or lived in a nursing home, according to a new tally of deaths across 12,000 facilities that shows people who become infected in nursing homes are dying at triple the rate of the general population.
While 11 percent of those killed by the virus actually died in nursing homes or long-term care centers, they are linked to many more deaths — more than 54,000 total deaths, or 43 percent of the national toll when accounting for workers and other people who contracted the virus inside the facilities, according to a New York Times database of stats from facilities, and local, state and federal governments.
In at least 24 states, the majority of deaths were nursing home-related. New Hampshire recorded the largest percentage of nursing home COVID-19 deaths, with 80 percent, or 293, of the state’s fatalities coming from the facilities. Rhode Island and Minnesota followed, each with 77 percent.
The data also show the death rate is 17 percent among infected nursing home patients, compared to five percent nationwide.
A death rate for COVID-positive people in New York nursing homes was not available, because the state does not require facilities to report the number of positive cases, according to the Times.
New York has recorded 6,250 COVID-19-related nursing home deaths, a number that has been widely speculated among a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.
“I don’t know if we’ve gotten a full and correct accounting of how many people died of COVID-19 in nursing homes and how many nursing residents transferred to hospitals died of COVID,” State Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) told The Post this week.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy of forbidding nursing homes from refusing to take in coronavirus patients after they were discharged from hospitals is being eyed as the source of the steep death toll.
The White House is among the governor’s loudest critics.
“Governor Cuomo alone is to Blame for refusing to shut down New York and forcing seniors who tested positive for Coronavirus back into his state’s nursing homes,” Hogan Gidley, the deputy assistant and principal deputy press secretary to President Trump, said in a statement earlier this week.
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