Federally Run Kansas Nursing Homes Miss COVID-19 Vaccination Goal Among Workers By 65%.
The AP (7/15) reports, “Only about 10% of the nursing homes in Kansas regulated by the federal government have met the industry’s goal for vaccinating their workers against COVID-19, according to government data.” The goal “is to have 75% of the homes’ staff vaccinated.” But according to CMS, “as of late June, 34 of the 324 federally licensed homes in Kansas had met that goal.” CMS data show “an average of 55% of workers have been vaccinated” in homes that are federally regulated.
New York Legislators Urge Governor To Lift Remaining COVID-19 Limits On Nursing Home Visits.
The AP (7/15, Villeneuve) reports New York legislators “are demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo lift remaining restrictions for visits at nursing homes, according to a letter two dozen Democratic lawmakers sent to the governor this week.”
Families Lack Easy Access To Medicare COVID-19 Vaccination Data For Nursing Homes.
The AP (7/14, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports that “with COVID-19 on the rise again and many nursing home staffers unvaccinated, families still lack easy access to crucial Medicare immunization data that will help them pick the right facility for their loved one.” Medicare is using “a COVID-19 data page geared to researchers” to post “vaccination numbers for residents and staff at individual nursing homes.” One method of navigating “it involves scouring a map for little red dots that represent nursing homes.” There is “also a huge spreadsheet,” but it is “not seen as particularly user-friendly.” CMS “acknowledged in a statement that it has work to do,” saying, “We are focused on making this data more consumer-friendly and easy to navigate.”
“Larger Nursing Home Staffs” Strong Predictor Of COVID-19 Outbreaks, Research Says.
Modern Healthcare (7/14, Christ, Subscription Publication) reports “larger nursing home staffs are a strong predictor of COVID-19 outbreaks at those facilities, according to research published” in Health Affairs. Last summer’s “COVID-19 case rates at nursing homes with the most unique staff members were 92% higher than at facilities with the lowest numbers of staff, the Health Affairs study found.”
Greece Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine For Nursing Home, Healthcare Workers.
Reuters (7/12, Tagaris) reports, “Greece has made vaccinations against COVID-19 mandatory for certain workers and announced restrictions to contain the spread of the virus as infections have kept rising during the vital summer tourism season.” According to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, “nursing home staff will need to get vaccinated immediately, while healthcare workers will have to be vaccinated starting Sept. 1.”
The AP (7/12, Gatopoulos) reports beginning “Friday, and until the end of August, all indoor commercial areas, including bars, cinemas, and theaters, will only be available for the vaccinated.”
NJ.com (July 12)
The nursing home operated by Alaris Health on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Guttenberg was old. Built long before there was any concerns about isolating large numbers of residents to stop a virus that could spread like wildfire, it was small and had as many as four to a room. And now it is closed.
Fatal COVID-19 Cases Drop To Near Zero In Louisiana Nursing Homes.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune (7/11, Rddad, Roberts) reports that “a year after COVID-19 ravaged Louisiana nursing homes with sickness, isolation and death, fatal cases have plunged to near zero in recent weeks, further highlighting a significant turnaround in places that were grim epicenters of the pandemic.” Just “one nursing home death in the past month can be attributed to COVID-19, the latest state records show.” According to the Times-Picayune, “health experts say the steep decline in deaths is largely due to vaccines making the disease far less lethal, especially in the places where the state’s most vulnerable residents live.”
NOLA (July 11)
A year after COVID-19 ravaged Louisiana nursing homes with sickness, isolation and death, fatal cases have plunged to near zero in recent weeks, further highlighting a significant turnaround in places that were grim epicenters of the pandemic. Only one nursing home death in the past month can be attributed to COVID-19, the latest state records show. Health experts say the steep decline in deaths is largely due to vaccines making the disease far less lethal, especially in the places where the state’s most vulnerable residents live. Moreover, because many nursing homes have high vaccination rates, the statistics offer a glimpse of what herd immunity could look like.
Editorial: Families Can Pressure Nursing Homes To Improve Employee Vaccination Rates.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (7/10) editorializes that while the “pandemic is nowhere near the end,” a new tool from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can help families assess “how well individual long-term care centers are doing” on vaccination rates. The Star Tribune highlights a “troubling” gap in vaccination rates between residents and staff, adding that while the industry is working hard, “families of long-term care residents have an important role to play, too.” Communicating the need for higher employee vaccination rates “to staff and facilities’ leadership will help ensure that this remains a priority and that progress continues.”