Florida leads U.S. in nursing home resident and staff Covid deaths
Florida leads the nation in nursing home resident and staff deaths from COVID-19, according to an AARP report released Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Florida’s nursing home resident deaths totaled 237, representing 21% of 1,125 total COVID-19 deaths occurring in nursing homes across the United States.
It also has the highest number of nursing home staff who are dying of COVID-19, with 13 deaths occurring in the state over the same time period, representing 17% of 76 total staff deaths nationally.
“It is a frightening, tragic time in our state,” AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said.
“These sadly predictable data trends are also preventable. Our most vulnerable residents deserve to be protected from this devastating disease. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones are to get vaccinated. As we remember and honor the thousands of Floridians who have died in our state’s long-term care system, AARP encourages all those who are eligible, to get vaccinated to protect your family and your community from COVID-19.”
As vaccination rates have stalled, COVID cases have risen, and Florida nursing home deaths have soared to the highest in the nation.
While the vaccination rate of Florida’s nursing home staff increased from 45% to 48%, it is one of only three states still below 50% in vaccination of staff at nursing homes (joining Missouri and Louisiana).
The Sunshine State continues to be far below the industry standard of 75% staff vaccination and the national average of 63.5%.
Only 7%, or approximately 50 of Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes, have met the industry standard and vaccinated at least 75% of their staff.
The% of Florida nursing homes reporting new staff cases of COVID-19 more than doubled since the previous month’s report, increasing from 40.3% to 94%, the highest in the nation and nearly double the national average of 51%.
The% of new resident cases quadrupled during the same time period, from 12.6% to 61%, three times the national average of 20%.
Approximately 22% of Florida’s nursing homes continue to suffer from staffing shortages, up from 18% in the previous month’s report.
Vaccination Rates of Nursing Home Staff
(Source: Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard)
Using data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—which is self-reported by nursing homes—the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard to provide four-week snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff.
The federal data do not include coronavirus cases among residents or staff of assisted-living facilities, group homes, and other congregate elder-care facilities.