WSJ Survey: COVID-19 Deaths in U.S. Skilled Nursing Facilities Top 10,000

by Jeff Shaw

The number of U.S. nursing home deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic has eclipsed 10,700, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s total death toll, according to a survey by the Wall Street Journal.

The survey gathered information from 35 states that either publicly share that data or responded to the newspaper’s requests for information. Key states such as Ohio and Washington did not provide data, suggesting that the number is actually considerably higher. The total U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passed 46,000 on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Of the states that reported information, 4,800 facilities have been affected and more than 56,000 people, including both residents and staff, have contracted the virus, according to the Journal. This despite strict rules nationwide barring visitors from entering the properties.

Skilled nursing facilities are unfortunately a perfect target for the virus, which is more deadly for people who are older or sicker. Massachusetts reports that 56 percent of its 2,182 COVID-19 deaths so far are at long-term care facilities. While Minnesota only reports 179 total deaths from the pandemic, 131 of those are at nursing homes, the Journal survey found.

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