Thousands of US nursing home patients have died of Covid-19 - far higher than federal reports
- Thousands of nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 across the US and nearly 2,500 nursing homes are facing outbreaks, according to separate reports from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.
- The number of nursing homes and other senior facilities with coronavirus cases - revealed by the new reports - is at least six times higher than the latest federal estimate.
- Nursing homes across the US are struggling to contain outbreaks and are desperate for access to testing.
- In New York, the epicenter of the outbreak, some nursing homes have been forced to convert spare rooms to makeshift morgues.
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For weeks, nursing homes and other senior facilities have struggled to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus among their elderly residents. Now, two separate reports show the contagion among nursing homes is far worse than the federal government's latest estimate.
The novel coronavirus has taken the lives of over 2,300 United States (US) nursing home residents and spread to over 2,100 senior facilities, according to a new tally reported by The Wall Street Journal. A separate NBC News report Friday found coronavirus outbreaks at nearly 2,500 senior facilities.
Those reports place the number of deaths linked to senior facilities far above the latest federal estimate. The federal government last estimated on March 30 that more than 400 nursing homes had been hit with Covid-19, meaning the new reports reflect a 500% increase since then.
Even in light of the new reports, the actual number of nursing homes facing Covid-19 outbreaks is unknown. At least 13 states did not provide data to NBC News or the Wall Street Journal, including Florida, which has a high population of seniors.
Nursing homes have been hit especially hard by coronavirus in recent weeks, with cases increasing so rapidly that some nursing homeowners have instructed families to take their loved ones home if possible.
In New York - the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak - some nursing homes are converting spare rooms to makeshift morgues to accommodate a spike in deaths, according to The New York Times. Over 4,600 positive cases and 1,439 deaths have been reported in New York nursing homes, the Times reported Saturday.
Nursing home leadership is calling for more emergency support from lawmakers.
"The story is not about whether there's COVID-19 in the nursing homes," Scott LaRue, the chief executive of New York nursing home chain ArchCare, told the Times. "The story is, why aren't they being treated with the same respect and the same resources that everyone else out there is? It's ridiculous."
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