LTCF COVID-19 Patterns 2020

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

In recent months, the U.S. has experienced record-breaking highs of new coronavirus cases and deaths in nearly every state across the country, and new overall cases and deaths have been higher in January 2021 than at any other point in the pandemic. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) did an analysis to determine when new LTCF cases and deaths were highest in states across the country, as well as how national trends in LTCF COVID-19 cases/deaths compare to national trends in overall COVID-19 cases/deaths. It found that mirroring total COVID-19 cases and death trends, LTCF cases were highest in December 2020 and deaths were highest in April 2020.

Approximately three-quarters of reporting states with trend-able data (28 of 38) experienced their highest average weekly number of new coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities in November or December 2020. A small number of states, concentrated in the Northeast and Southeast, saw the highest new cases in LTCFs earlier in the year.

Over half of reporting states (21 of 39 states) reported their highest average weekly new COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities in the last two months of 2020, mostly in December 2020. States that had reported highest new COVID-19 LTCF deaths in the Spring 2020 were clustered in the Northeast region of the country, while most of the states that reported highest new LTCF deaths in December 2020 were in the West and Midwest.

The data is pretty telling, I think most of us have lived through the worst of the pandemic and are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. This study proves that we are a strong, resilient country, full of promise and a healthier future. Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!