BOSTON — Encouraging data released today by the Massachusetts Senior Care Association show nursing homes in Massachusetts have made significant strides in mitigating the spread of, and preventing deaths from, the COVID-19 virus. The data also show that prioritizing nursing home residents and staff for the vaccine rollout is working exceedingly well.
To date, over 125,000+ vaccine doses have been administered to nursing home residents and staff in Massachusetts, and since May of 2020 there has been a 94% reduction in daily infections and an 87% reduction in daily deaths. The rate of those recovering from COVID-19 since the second surge in October has climbed to 80%. As of February 18, the 7-day rolling average of new cases among residents and staff in the state’s long term care facilities is now 27, compared to May 2020 when the 7-day rolling average was 426 cases:
And the 7-day rolling average of new deaths attributed to COVID-19 is 15 per day, compared to the height of Covid-19 in May 2020 when the 7-day rolling average was 119 deaths:
In addition to infection control, testing, and other management practices, distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines to long term care facilities has proven to be an important milestone in the Commonwealth’s fight against the pandemic. Vaccination is a critical tool to save lives, expedite the reopening of facilities and return to a new normal. The response to vaccination efforts from staff and residents thus far has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Nursing home residents, their families and caregivers are very grateful Governor Baker prioritized long term care residents and staff in the state’s vaccine rollout," said Tara Gregorio, President of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association. "The data show the vaccines are making a substantial difference in our communities. We extend our continued and strong gratitude and appreciation to the frontline heroes who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.”
Aside from the vaccine, the data shows that Covid-related government funding increases along with more access to surveillance testing and securing an adequate supply of vital personal protection equipment (PPE) have made a significant difference in protecting vulnerable nursing home residents and their caregivers.