New data indicate rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Virginia’s nursing homes rose substantially in June for the second month in a row, ending several months of decline from the peak of the initial Omicron wave in January 2022 and heightening concerns that a new surge may have arrived.
In Virginia, resident deaths were up from a rate of .04 per 100 residents in the previous four-week period ending May 22, to .06 in the four-week period ending June 19, according to AARP’s nursing home COVID-19 dashboard.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 3,000 nursing home residents in Virginia have died from COVID-19.
Nursing home resident cases in Virginia were up from a rate of 2.74 per 100 residents in the previous four-week period ending May 22, to 4.14 in the four-week period ending June 19. The rate of staff cases was up from 2.29 per 100 residents to 3.81 compared to the previous dashboard release.
“Rising deaths and cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff nationally show that for their sakes, we must remain vigilant, and we must hold nursing homes accountable for providing high quality care and safe environments,” said David DeBiasi, advocacy director for AARP Virginia.
The latest data from the dashboard shows that as of June 19, 74 percent of nursing home residents in Virginia were fully vaccinated with at least one booster dose. Among nursing home staff, nearly 50 percent report they are fully vaccinated with at least one booster dose.
The percentage of facilities in Virginia reporting a shortage of nurses or aides was 34 percent in the four weeks ending June 19.
Advocates for Virginia’s more than 30,000 nursing home residents have been asking the General Assembly for minimum hourly staffing standards for 20 years. During the 2022 session, House Bill 646, which would have required minimum staffing ratios, failed to advance.
“We know higher levels of nurse staffing add up to better quality care for residents in multiple areas, including decreased infections, fewer bed sores, and lower mortality rates,” said DeBiasi in a news release. “AARP is fighting here in Virginia for critical legislation that addresses staffing inadequacies and other chronic issues in nursing homes.”
The AARP nursing home COVID-19 dashboard analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020. The full dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard.