Using data from Johns Hopkins University, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living compiled a state-by-state breakdown of the positive COVID-19 test rate and number of nursing homes in those states, as well as data on the current supply of personal protective equipment in those nursing homes.
Since July 26, there are 33 states with a positive test rate of more than 5%, underscoring the urgent need for increased testing and PPE to keep the virus from spreading.
Nevada registered the seventh-highest rate of positive test results in nursing homes at 14.4%. Arizona’s rate of 22.7% was the highest, followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Idaho and South Carolina. After Nevada, Georgia, Missouri and Texas rounded out the top 10.
On the other end of the scale, Vermont had the lowest rate of positive tests in nursing homes and care facilities at 0.7%, followed by Maine, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
In Nye County, according to the state’s online facility tracker, no Pahrump or Beatty facilities were listed as having a case among residents or staff.
From the data on current PPE supplies in nursing homes, many states still have a significant percentage of facilities without vital PPE, including N95 masks, surgical masks and gowns. In this area, Nevada was in better shape than most states, with only 11% reporting lacking N95 masks, 4% lacking surgical masks and 4% lacking gowns.
“The continued shortage of vital PPE supplies for nursing homes across the U.S. is a major concern, especially for states with recent spikes in new COVID cases,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL.
AHCA/NCAL, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities, sent a letter two weeks ago to the National Governors Association warning states of imminent outbreaks at nursing homes and assisted living facilities given the major spikes in new cases in several states across the U.S., combined with serious PPE shortages and significant delays in getting testing results for long-term care residents and caregivers.
Here are two quotes from Mark Parkinson, president and CEO, American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) in response to this data:
“Governors and state health agencies … need to take immediate action to protect our seniors and health care heroes by ensuring long-term facilities have adequate supplies of PPE and staff support as well as facilitating expedited test results for our residents and caregivers,” Parkinson said.
“We also need members of the public to do their part to help reduce spread by wearing a mask in public and continuing to practice social distancing. We all have a duty to defend our nation’s greatest generation and their essential caregivers.”