AARP’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Dashboard is showing some promising trends in numbers of Wyoming nursing home residents and staff cases of COVID-19 as well as nursing home resident deaths due to COVID-19. However, these numbers are still far higher than levels of infection seen during the summer and early fall.
According to the AARP COVID-19 Nursing Home Dashboard, 29% of Wyoming nursing homes reported COVID-19 cases for the four week period ending Jan. 17, down from 50% of homes who reported COVID-19 cases among residents in the four week period ending Dec. 20, 2020.
While 73% of nursing homes reported at least one staff member with COVID-19, that number was down from 96.9 in December’s snapshot. Those numbers reflected a large improvement in the numbers of nursing homes with a staff shortage from 53% of facilities reporting staff shortages in December to just 29.4% of facilities reporting shortages in the four week period ending Jan. 17.
The nursing home resident death rate also dropped in Wyoming from the last snapshot taken in December from 2.75 deaths per 100 residents to 2.22 deaths per 100 residents. Forty-one nursing home residents died of COVID-19 from Dec. 21 to Jan. 17, which was down from 48 over the previous four-weeks.
“It is encouraging to see our numbers of nursing home deaths and infection rates dropping,” says AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway. “But, these numbers are still far higher than they were this summer or fall. Since the start of this pandemic, more than 160,000 residents and staff in nursing homes have died and nearly 1.3 million people are known to have been infected with COVID-19 in these facilities.”
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is becoming more plentiful, according to the dashboard, however it still falls below the national average. In the four week period ending Dec. 20, 2020, 18% of nursing homes reported less than a week’s worth of PPE, with N95 masks being the item most nursing homes were most lacking. While masks are still an issue, the state’s nursing homes saw improvements in the supply of eye protection, hand sanitizer, gloves and gowns.
Nationally, despite some incremental improvements in the number of new infections, from December 21 to January 17, the rate of coronavirus cases declined about 13%, to 9.2 resident cases and 8.3 staff cases per 100 residents. While cases are lower than in the previous time period, they remain at the second highest level found in AARP’s dashboard, with about three times as many new cases as were reported in the summer and fall.
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 Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard. For more information on how COVID is impacting nursing homes and AARP’s advocacy on this issue, visit www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.
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.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.