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Data: AHCA/NCAL, The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The U.S. has gotten no better at keeping the coronavirus out of nursing homes.

Why it matters: The number of nursing home cases has consistently tracked closely with the number of cases in the broader community — and that's very bad news as overall cases continue to skyrocket.

By the numbers: There were more than 16,000 confirmed nursing home cases during the week of Nov. 15., according to a report by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.

  • Nearly half of new nursing home cases that week were in the Midwest.
  • Cases nationally grew by more than 177% between mid-September and mid-November, mirroring the steady rise in caseloads overall.
  • Deaths are also rising, topping 2,000 that same week.

What they're saying: "Our worst fears have come true as COVID runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread," said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.

  • "This level of COVID nationwide puts serious strain on our workforce, supplies, and testing capacity."

The bottom line: We're not going to control the pandemic in the general population, which means the virus will continue to find its way into nursing homes.

  • The only bright spot on the horizon for nursing home residents is that a vaccine will soon be available, and they'll be among the first people to receive it.

Go deeper

Florida requiring proof of residency to get coronavirus vaccine

A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a health care worker at a drive-thru site at Tropical Park on Jan. 13 in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida's surgeon general issued new guidelines on Thursday requiring people seeking COVID-19 vaccines to provide proof of permanent or seasonal residency.

Driving the news: Of the more than 1 million people who have received the first dose of the vaccine in Florida as of Wednesday, over 39,000 reside out of state, per data from the Florida Department of Health. The number and reports of out-of-state recipients have caused concern over what many have described as "vaccine tourism."

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.

Updated 20 hours ago - Health

Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as coronavirus cases surge

Hong Kong health workers patrol a street where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Photo: Anthony Kwan via Getty Images

Hong Kong has placed tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to contain a new coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions are expected to last 48 hours.