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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.

Go deeper: Taking care of coronavirus patients after they leave the hospital

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 22 states

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Texas added a backlog of cases on Sept. 22, removing that from the 7-day average Texas' cases increased 28.3%; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 23, 2020 - Health

America's halfway coronavirus response

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some of the same technological advances that have enabled us to partially weather the economic and health tolls of the pandemic may be paradoxically discouraging us from taking fuller measures.

Why it matters: Thanks to tech like video chat and automation, a large portion of the population has been able to mostly escape the effects of the pandemic — and even thrive in some cases. But far too many of us risk being left further behind as the virus spreads.

Sep 23, 2020 - Health

CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus

CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a Senate hearing Wednesday that preliminary data shows that over 90% of Americans remain susceptible to COVID-19 — meaning they have not yet been exposed to the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The U.S. surpassed 200,000 coronavirus deaths this week — the most recorded in the world — and over 6.8 million Americans have contracted the virus so far.