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New Tally Adds 16,000 Nursing Home Residents Lost to COVID

FRIDAY, Sept. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The variety of circumstances and deaths from COVID-19 in U.S. nursing properties seems to have been grossly underestimated.

According to a new study, that is as a result of U.S. federal pointers didn’t require nursing properties to report circumstances and deaths till May 24, 2020, months after the pandemic started.

“Because of the delay in the federal reporting system for cases and deaths in nursing homes, there were roughly 68,000 unreported cases and 16,000 unreported deaths from COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic,” mentioned lead researcher Karen Shen, an utilized public and labor economist at Harvard University.

“Accounting for underreporting changes the understanding of the toll on nursing homes across places and across facilities,” she added.

For occasion, utilizing the reported figures with out factoring within the delay implies related numbers of nursing dwelling residents died in New York (5,776) and California (5,622), or about 5 deaths for each 100 beds in each states, Shen mentioned.

Once the unreported deaths have been accounted for, nevertheless, the figures modified dramatically, she mentioned.

“We estimate that nursing homes in New York experienced 9,276 deaths [8 deaths per 100 beds], compared with 6,487 in California [5.5 deaths per 100 beds],” Shen mentioned.

The delay in federal reporting considerably affected nursing dwelling counts, and Shen mentioned the information shouldn’t be used with out some qualification or correction.

“We would also hope that in future situations, there would be a faster and clearer data collection effort that would avoid some of the confusion that resulted during this pandemic,” she added.

For the brand new research, Shen and colleagues in contrast COVID circumstances and deaths reported to the U.S. National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and state well being departments by May 31, 2020.

The pattern included numbers for 20 states and almost 12,000 nursing properties. Researchers expanded these information to incorporate greater than 15,000 nursing properties nationwide.

On common, 44% of COVID circumstances and 40% of deaths have been reported to state well being departments, however to not the NHSN, the research discovered.

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