NIC Survey Shows Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Range from 0.2 Percent in IL to 4.3 Percent in Skilled Nursing

by Jeff Shaw

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Testing for coronavirus is most prevalent in nursing care and assisted living facilities, with confirmed positive tests highest at nursing care facilities. Residents of independent living facilities, who typically have greater mobility and fewer healthcare challenges, have the lowest percent of confirmed positive results at 0.2 percent.

The analysis was conducted by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), an Annapolis-based nonprofit organization supporting access and choice in senior housing and care. The data comes from a May 31 survey that received 105 responses from seniors housing operators.

The results show current positive rates are 1.2 percent in assisted living, 3.7 percent in memory care and 4.3 percent in skilled nursing. It is worth noting that while skilled nursing has the highest infection rate, it also does the most testing by far.

Unlike cumulative data reported by the federal government and most states, which shows growing levels of testing and positive COVID-19 cases over time, NIC’s survey offers a snapshot of the testing and reach of the disease across the senior housing and care sector by focusing only on current residents’ status on a single day. The analysis is the first to compare current residents’ status across independent living, assisted living, memory care and nursing care properties.

“It’s important to understand how testing and reach of COVID-19 rates vary across different types of senior housing and care property types, because the residents and the services they require vary by property type,” says Brian Jurutka, NIC president and CEO. “These facilities changed procedures dramatically since the pandemic began, as testing and treatment guidelines became available. The more that is known about COVID-19 in senior care facilities over time, the more informed decisions can be about how to keep residents healthy and safe.”

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