COVID-19 deaths decline in nursing homes

OKLAHOMA CITY- Nursing homes across the country are seeing a decline in COVID-19 related deaths, according to a report from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

The organizations say there’s been an 82% decline since December of last year. 

Steven Buck, President of Care Providers Oklahoma, says we’re seeing the same thing regionally as well.

“The data we’re seeing in the state of Oklahoma is mirroring the trendline that you saw in the national release today.”

Data released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that in a week period in February, there were only 39 new cases. 

Back in December, there were 443 in one week across the state. 

Buck says vaccines aren’t the only reason for this decline.

“I think vaccines are important, but I would also share with you that the frontline hero’s who have been doing this work, their infection control protocols, understanding of how to do mitigation as effectively as we possibly can.” 

According to the CDC, around 80 percent of residents in long-term care facilities have received their first dose, nationwide.

In Oklahoma, they say most facilities have held at least one clinic. Now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved, Buck says one benefit from this includes easier vaccine access. 

“A resident discharged from the hospital into a long term care setting, they would be able to get their vaccination benefit from a single dose as opposed to having to go through the two-step protocol.” 

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