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COVID-19 early winter wave peaks in Michigan’s nursing homes

Cases & deaths decrease in Michigan

Lansing, MI – After a deadly early January in the nation’s nursing homes, new data shows the early winter wave of COVID-19 appears to have peaked. According to AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, rates of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents nationwide increased 23% in the four weeks ending January 22nd compared to the previous Dashboard period ending December 18th. The increase represents the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes nationwide since the first Omicron wave last winter. However, more recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that deaths and cases in the two weeks since January 22 are down by about one-third from the rates during the Dashboard period. 

Here in Michigan, resident deaths are down by 21.43% in the four weeks ending January 22nd, compared to the previous four weeks, while resident and staff cases decreased by 9.9% during the same period.

“While it is good news that the early winter wave of COVID-19 appears to have peaked nationwide, this new data shows that our loved ones in nursing homes are still highly vulnerable to the virus,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP, which serves more than 1.2 million members age 50 and older in Michigan.

“Vaccinations are the best defense against COVID-19 and we must remain vigilant about protecting this population,” Cunningham added.

The new data shows “up to date” vaccination rates among nursing home residents nationwide are progressing slowly while staff rates remain stalled. For the Dashboard period ending January 22nd, 51% of nursing home residents nationwide and only 22% of staff were “up to date” on COVID-19 vaccinations.  Here in Michigan, nearly 47% of residents and 13.1% of staff were “up to date” on their vaccinations, an increase for residents and a slight decrease for staff over the last reporting period. 

AARP recommends family members of a nursing home resident ask these 10 questions about vaccination rates and other COVID-related issues to stay connected and keep your loved one safe.

AARP is also urging the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to take additional steps to help increase up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination rates for nursing home residents and staff, saying more action is needed to build upon other recent steps to protect them.

Nationwide, it’s estimated that more than 180,000 residents and staff of nursing homes have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began in early 2020.

The AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020. Using this data, the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the Dashboard to provide snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner. The full AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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