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Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Nursing homes with lower proportions of white residents saw higher coronavirus deaths last year, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open.

By the numbers: In the facilities with the smallest share of white residents, coronavirus deaths were more than three times higher than in the nursing homes with the largest white populations.

  • Adjusting for the number of beds in each facility and for county-level COVID prevalence shrunk the gap between the groups.
  • But that just means that Americans of color are more likely to live in nursing homes at higher risk of worse outbreaks.

"Disparities in deaths by nursing home racial composition are associated with the disproportionately high spread of the disease in non-white communities and the characteristics of the nursing homes that serve those communities," the authors conclude.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Feb 10, 2021 - Health

The pandemic's coming new normal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Library of Congress/Corbis via Getty Images

As both vaccinations and acquired immunity spread, life will likely settle into a new normal that will resemble pre-COVID-19 days — with some major twists.

The big picture: While hospitalizations and deaths are tamped down, the novel coronavirus should recede as a mortal threat to the world. But a lingering pool of unvaccinated people — and the virus' own ability to mutate — will ensure SARS-CoV-2 keeps circulating at some level, meaning some precautions will be kept in place for years.

Feb 11, 2021 - Health

Fauci: 20,000 pregnant women have had COVID vaccine without complications

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci at the White House in January. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said during a White House briefing Wednesday that 20,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated against COVID-19 without complications.

Why it matters: The new figure comes weeks after the World Health Organization altered its guidance for pregnant women and inoculation to say those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated, in line with CDC guidance.

Feb 10, 2021 - Health

Spike in counterfeit N95 masks put health workers at risk

N95 respirator masks. Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal authorities are investigating counterfeit N95 masks that have been sold to hospitals, government agencies and medical facilities in at least five states, AP reports.

Why it matters: "Nearly a year into the pandemic, fraud remains a major problem as scammers seek to exploit hospitals and desperate and weary Americans," AP's Colleen Long writes. The masks, designed to look like they are produced by the global manufacturer 3M, "are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and could put health care workers at grave risk for the coronavirus."

Go deeper: Coronavirus fraud is everywhere