New study examines number of deaths at long-term care facilities

Doug Meehan

Local doctors from the Boston University School of Medicine have been examining data from across the country, trying to quantify the devastating impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities. “Almost all nursing homes have had at least one COVID-19 case. So this virus really has infiltrated all the nursing homes,” said Dr. Thomas Perls. While the overall number of new cases in the state has been on the decline in Massachusetts, Perls said the rate of related deaths in nursing homes and elderly group homes has increased. “I think Massachusetts is probably going to stay where it is at that number, about 62% – 63%,” he said.But other states have been hit even harder. Long-term care facilities account for 81% of the COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota and Rhode Island. Twenty-two states report at least half of all virus-related deaths occurred in long-term care facilities.Perls says the data shows it is critical that we continue to protect the most vulnerable among us. “I think that while we’re loosening up in the rest of the community in terms of people going back to work, getting more social and so on, we’re really going to have to keep our guard up in these nursing homes,” he said. PHNjcmlwdCBpZD0iaW5mb2dyYW1fMF85MTUyMTg3My03NmRhLTQ0ZmUtOTA0Ny1mMTllZWFlZGFjNmQiIHRpdGxlPSJDb3JvbmF2aXJ1cyBpbiBNYXNzYWNodXNldHRzIiBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vZS5pbmZvZ3JhbS5jb20vanMvZGlzdC9lbWJlZC5qcz9yeXoiIHR5cGU9InRleHQvamF2YXNjcmlwdCI+PC9zY3JpcHQ+In Massachusetts, new public health data is published daily around 4 p.m.

Local doctors from the Boston University School of Medicine have been examining data from across the country, trying to quantify the devastating impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities.

“Almost all nursing homes have had at least one COVID-19 case. So this virus really has infiltrated all the nursing homes,” said Dr. Thomas Perls.

While the overall number of new cases in the state has been on the decline in Massachusetts, Perls said the rate of related deaths in nursing homes and elderly group homes has increased.

“I think Massachusetts is probably going to stay where it is at that number, about 62% – 63%,” he said.

But other states have been hit even harder.

Long-term care facilities account for 81% of the COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota and Rhode Island.

Twenty-two states report at least half of all virus-related deaths occurred in long-term care facilities.

Perls says the data shows it is critical that we continue to protect the most vulnerable among us.

“I think that while we’re loosening up in the rest of the community in terms of people going back to work, getting more social and so on, we’re really going to have to keep our guard up in these nursing homes,” he said.

In Massachusetts, new public health data is published daily around 4 p.m.

Doug Meehan



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