Nursing homes have been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has raced through long-term care facilities in the United States, killing more than 163,000 residents and employees. Now the tide seems to be turning.
For the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak began roughly a year ago, the threat inside U.S. nursing homes might have finally reached a turning point, according to The New York Times.
Since the arrival of vaccines, which were prioritized to long-term care facilities starting in late December, new cases and deaths in nursing homes, a large subset of long-term care facilities, have fallen steeply, outpacing national declines, according to an analysis of federal data. The turnaround is an encouraging sign for vaccine effectiveness and offers an early glimpse at what may be in store for the rest of the country, as more people get vaccinated.
From late December to early February, new cases among nursing home residents fell by more than 80 percent, nearly double the rate of improvement in the general population. The trendline for deaths was even more striking: Even as fatalities spiked over all this winter, deaths inside the facilities have fallen, decreasing by more than 65 percent.
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