Health care workers after dropping off a patient at a nursing home. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
Federal health officials have received reports of almost 26,000 deaths from the coronavirus in nursing homes, AP reports, citing materials prepared for the nation's governors.
Why it matters: That figure makes up approximately one-quarter of all U.S. deaths thus far from COVID-19. Information obtained by AP only consists of reports from about 80% of the nation's 15,400 nursing homes.
- The stark figures follow months of scrutiny against state and local governments over their handling of the coronavirus in nursing homes.
- A report from the Government Accountability Office last month detailed a "persistent" pattern of nursing homes failing to control infectious spread.
The big picture: Nursing home residents and staff remain among the most vulnerable to coronavirus havoc as the rest of the country begins to ease lockdown restrictions.
- Industry professionals cite the cost of widespread testing and the length of time between tests and results as two main hurdles, per AP.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommends a one-time universal test for all residents and staff, followed by a weekly retest of staff.
Behind the scenes: Sources familiar with internal deliberation at the White House tell Axios' Jonathan Swan that the Trump administration plans to pile more pressure on states to increase COVID-19 testing in nursing homes. There have been internal discussions about ways to condition different forms of funding to states on their level of testing in nursing homes.