New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. nursing homes have reached a record low since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)started keeping track of the numbers in May 2020. The decline strongly suggests that the vaccines are working and that it might be possible to loosen some restrictions in the nursing homes.
The Decline in Nursing Home Residents
The nursing homes throughout the country have witnessed a massive 82 percent decline in new COVID-19 cases among residents since the peak during the week of December 20. At that time, 30,000 new cases were registered on average. According to the report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the number of COVID-19 cases in the general population decreased by around 46 percent during the same period.
The Magic of Vaccine
The same report mentioned above states that since Dec. 20, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in nursing homes witnessed a substantial fall, which is close to 63 percent. All these numbers indicate the fact that the vaccine might be working. As the residents were among the first ones to receive the vaccine, it has been able to shield the residents in the nursing homes against a further outbreak.
The road ahead is longer than expected. However, the above numbers are incredibly encouraging and also a vital morale booster for all the frontline caregivers, who have been working tirelessly every day for more than a year to protect the residents. According to Mark Parkinson, the president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, these data showcase the importance of vaccines not only for the nursing home residents and staff but also for the general public.
In light of the new data, AHCA/NCAL has urged the Administration to ease some restrictions at the nursing homes, like safely reengaging the residents in meaningful activities and letting them reunite with their loved ones.