Jun 16, 2020 - Health

WSJ: More than 40% of U.S. coronavirus deaths are linked to nursing homes

A nursing home in California that temporarily banned visitors after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were reported.
A nursing home in California that temporarily banned visitors after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were reported. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Staff members and seniors living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the U.S. account for more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths, or more than 40% of the official U.S. death toll of 116,000, according to an analysis from the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: The pandemic has exacerbated structural issues in these facilities that have made it difficult to protect the most vulnerable populations from COVID-19 infections and fatalities. As of June, about 91 residents per 1,000 living in these facilities in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19, according to federal data.

  • About 250,000 cases and 50,919 deaths have been reported among residents and staffers at long-term care facilities, WSJ found.
  • Yes, but: The true number of these cases could be much higher, as there are often lags in reporting and some states omit nursing home deaths if the resident was moved to a hospital before passing.

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