Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Health Topics | Vaccines | Cold/Flu | nursing homes | minnesota

Rural Nursing Homes Being Hit With COVID Cases, Deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated New York nursing homes take COVID-19 patients at the start of the pandemic
Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated New York nursing homes take COVID-19 patients at the start of the pandemic. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 15 November 2020 03:19 PM

The global coronavirus pandemic is seeping into the vulnerable, elderly nursing homes communities again, this time even in rural areas, The Wall Street Journal reported.

More than 1,900 nursing home deaths in October were attributed to COVID-19, while there has been 32,000 confirmed and suspected cases among staff and residents, according to federal data analyzed by the Journal.

"Nursing homes are not isolated from what happens in the community," Minnesota School of Public Health associate professor Carrie Henning-Smith told the Journal. "We're seeing this run rampant through rural communities."

Using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data, the Journal noted the following on rural nursing homes in rural counties for the week of Nov. 1:

  • 10% of the overall population, but 18% of the nursing-home deaths.
  • Small-town counties had 17% of nursing-home deaths, but the facilities had only 12% of the residents.

A 91-bed facility in Grafton, North Dakota, saw an outbreak of 55 residents and 46 staffers infected in an outbreak that started in late October – and five died – per the Journal.

"It still spread like wildfire," administrator Trevor Tompkins told the Journal. "To put it bluntly, we're in hell."

Northern Montana Care Center, in Havre, Montana, did not have its first positive test until late September, but the outbreak spread to 35 of the facility's 68 residents, killing 16.

"It came into our community and it came strong, and it just found its way into our facility," administrator Christen Obresley told the Journal.

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The global coronavirus pandemic is seeping into the vulnerable, elderly nursing homes communities again, this time even in rural areas, The Wall Street Journal reported.
nursing homes, minnesota, covid-19, pandemic, rural communities
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2020-19-15
Sunday, 15 November 2020 03:19 PM
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