The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living are concerned about the better than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that are members of those organizations. They believe the five million people cared for in those facilities and communities each year are at risk of third spike in COVID-19 cases. In a report released Monday they suggest the feared outbreak will be due to community spread among the general population.
The report references recent data from John Hopkins and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show that with the recent spike in new COVID cases in the general U.S. population was followed by an increase in nursing home cases during the latter part of September. COVID cases in the general U.S. population rose by 62,139 cases per week in late September correlating with an uptick in nursing home cases during the week of September 27, according to John Hopkins.
"The number one factor in keeping COVID out of our nursing homes, so we can protect our vulnerable population is reducing the level of the virus in the surrounding community," said AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson. "While the support we have received from Congress, the Administration and other public health agencies have helped our facilities fight this battle, we could still see another wave of COVID cases caused by the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus."
Parkinson is urging Congress to end the legislative logjam that has prevented another stimulus package from being approved. He's hoping politicians will prioritize frontline health care workers and nursing home residents to prevent the forecasted coronavirus spike.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said most recently that a stimulus deal must be reached within the next two days or it won't happen until after the election. The Democrat is blaming Republican in the Senate and the Trump administration for the hold up. Republicans insist Pelosi is playing political games with the fate of many Americans in an effort to hurt President Trump's chances of re-election.