Deaths at long-term care facilities linked to coronavirus surpassed 100,000 in the United States as of Tuesday, according to new data.
On Wednesday, non-profit organization Kaiser Family Foundation released the statistics, which show more than 100,033 residents and staff in long-term care facilities throughout the country lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
“This week marks a bleak milestone in the pandemic’s effect on residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the country. According to our latest analysis of state-reported data, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 long-term care facility residents and staff as of the last week in November,” the report read.
The new data is based on reports from 49 states and Washington, DC and they show an increase of nearly 16,000 deaths for the month. Information from Alaska was not used.
In October, there were 84,136 deaths linked to coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. Although, November is the first month where 50 states are reporting, according to the informational chart on the Kaiser foundation’s website.
Nationwide, 40 percent of the 260,000 COVID-19 deaths are in long-term care facilities, according to Kaiser. But less than one percent of America’s population lives in these facilities, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The number of cases and deaths in nursing homes could be larger, according to the Kaiser foundation. That’s because states have were likely underreporting deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the early months of the pandemic.
Positive cases in nursing homes and care facilities saw spikes in recent weeks, with the highest week since June being Nov. 8, the Wall Street Journal reported. The spikes are concerning as the weather cools and holidays draw near.
The CDC has continued to caution against people visiting for the holidays. However, travel seems to have increased for Thanksgiving, there are concerns over the “ripple effects” these gatherings will have on these vulnerable populations.
“As the nation braces for the fallout of the holiday, recent data on deaths in long-term care facilities highlight the ongoing disproportionate impact on this high-risk population,” the Kaiser foundation reported.
In September, the United States death toll topped 200,000. The US leads the world in coronavirus cases and fatalities. As of November, there have been 259,925 deaths in the US and 12.59 million confirmed positive cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.