Up to 50% of the COVID-19 deaths in Europe are associated with long-term care facilities, according to the World Health Organization. Hans Kluge, the WHO's regional European director, shared the data in Thursday's briefing. Kluge said that long-term care has often been "abhorrently neglected." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Up to half of the people who died of COVID-19 in Europe were residents of long-term care facilities, Hans Kluge, the WHO's regional European director, said on Thursday. The data, which does not include every European nation, was released Thursday during the WHO daily press briefing. "This is an unimaginable human tragedy," Kluge said. "To the many who are experiencing this loss, my thoughts are with you." Residents of nursing homes, often those who are of advanced age and have underlying mental and physical illnesses, are at an elevated risk of being infected and suffering from complications related to COVID-19. Many nursing home residents have also gone without visits from their friends and family as lockdown orders are in place, adding more emotional toll on them, Kluge said. Still, even "the very old" and frail have a good chance of recovery, "if they are well cared for," Kluge said. "This pandemic has shown a spotlight on the overlooked and undervalued in corners of all society," Kluge said. "Across the European region, long-term care has often been abhorrently neglected, but it should not be this way." Kluge went on to call those who work direct care in nursing homes the "unsung heroes of the pandemic" and noted that they are stretched thin and underpaid. Despite many countries locking down their long-term care facilities early and preventing visitors, infections have still been spreading within them. Going forward, and in the post-COVID world, Kluge said that nursing homes need to empower care workers, change the environment they work in, and have comprehensive plans to prevent and control infections. "We much do all we can to ensure that those workers have personal protective equipment and other essential supplies to protect themselves and those they care for," Kluge said. Senior Emergency Officer for WHO Catherine Smallwood was asked whether the WHO recommends every resident and employee of a nursing home be tested for the coronavirus. She said that at this time, the agency is recommending that all suspected cases be tested. Some countries are taking a broader approach to testing, she said, "but that needs to be carefully balanced with the country's testing overall." The disproportionate deaths in the nursing home setting aren't isolated to Europe. The United States has also seen severe outbreaks in long-term care facilities around the country. Early on in the US infection, nearly 20 percent of all the US deaths were tied to a Seattle area nursing home. Earlier this month, health officials discovered 17 bodies piled up in a small morgue of a New Jersey nursing home. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
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Nursing home residents and workers make up a third of coronavirus deaths. In some states, they account for half.
Long-term care facility residents and workers make up one-third of US coronavirus deaths, according to a...Long-term care facility residents and workers make up one-third of US coronavirus deaths, according to a new database from The New York Times. In about a dozen states, they account for more than half of all deaths from the virus. Nursing homes have been considered "death pits" during coronavirus due to residents' age and underlying conditions, as well as tight quarters and overburdened staff. Prior estimates suggested COVID-19 deaths related to long-term care facilities made up about 20% of total US deaths. In Europe, the proportion is closer to 50%. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. About one-third of all coronavirus deaths in the US are residents or workers in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to an interactive database compiled by The New York Times. The figure is startling, given that only 10% of coronavirus cases occur in such facilities, and less than 0.5% of Americans live in them. Long-term care facilities — which in this case includes nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, memory care facilities, retirement and senior communities, and rehabilitation facilities — in certain states have been particularly affected, with residents and workers making up more than half the states' coronavirus deaths, the report found. The Times' data are based "official confirmations from states, counties, and the facilities themselves" since there's a lack of comprehensive data from some states and the federal government, according to the report's authors, Karen Yourish, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Danielle Ivory, and Mitch Smith. The database includes deaths of residents and, where available, employees. "Given the wide variability in the type of information available, the totals shown here almost certainly represent an undercount of the true toll," the team wrote. Nursing homes have been hotbeds for coronavirus cases and deaths since the beginning of the outbreak in the US The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers nursing home residents to be a high-risk population when it comes to contracting or dying from COVID-19, the illness the novel coronavirus causes. Not only are residents vulnerable because they're older and tend to have underlying conditions, but they also often live in close quarters and are cared for by burdened staff who frequently travel between rooms. "They're death pits," Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York who founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths told The New York Times on April 17. "These nursing homes are already overwhelmed. They're crowded and they're understaffed. One COVID-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage." The first coronavirus deaths at a US nursing home occurred in suburban Seattle. By the end of March, at least 43 deaths were linked to the Life of Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, Business Insider previously reported. At least 94 residents and staff at the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University contracted the virus, and 32 residents died. On April 17, the Times reported that at least 7,000 people had died from COVID-19 associated with nursing homes, making up almost 20% coronavirus deaths in the US. The publication's latest findings — that at least 25,600 residents and workers have died from coronavirus related to long-term care facilities, making up one-third of US coronavirus deaths — suggest the earlier data was a grave underestimate, or that nursing home-related deaths are rising at a faster rate than coronavirus deaths in the general population, or likely, both. In Europe, as many as half of COVID-19 related deaths occurred in long-term care facilities, the World Health Organization reported. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How the Navy's largest hospital ship can help with the coronavirus
We are on the precipice of spread COVID-19 from dialysis centers to nursing homes. But there...We are on the precipice of spread COVID-19 from dialysis centers to nursing homes. But there is a safer way to administer this lifesaving care.
The Miami Herald reported on new data that reveals one in three coronavirus-related related deaths in...The Miami Herald reported on new data that reveals one in three coronavirus-related related deaths in Florida have come from nursing home residents. Nursing homes members are particularly susceptible due to overcrowding facilities and the greater likelihood of the elderly and those with weakened immune systems dying from the virus. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has begun opening up restrictions stores and restaurants, yet the state saw a recent spike in positive cases last week. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Nursing homes have continued to be a hotbed for spreading the novel coronavirus. New data obtained by the Miami Herald reveals that nursing homes and assisted living facilities have accounted for one in every three coronavirus-related deaths in Florida. Nationally, about 20% of coronavirus deaths have been associated with nursing homes. About 1.1 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus as of May 2, and more than 66,000 have died from the virus. The Miami Herald reports that Governor Ron DeSantis had previously said the state's nursing homes fared better than other states — but deaths have since accelerated to 444. Business Insider has reached out to the governor's office for comment. Nursing homes members are particularly susceptible due to overcrowding facilities and the greater likelihood of the elderly and those with weakened immune systems dying from the virus. "They're death pits," Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York, told The New York Times. "These nursing homes are already overwhelmed. They're crowded and they're understaffed. One Covid-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage." Despite the rising deaths in nursing homes and assisted facilities, DeSantis has re-opened public beaches, retail stores and restaurants, and will end the state's shelter-in-place order this week. The state reported more than 34,000 confirmed cases, last week saw a spike of 1,000 positive cases in 24 hours. As the Miami Herland noted, Florida withheld information related to COVID-19 deaths throughout the pandemic. The state Department of Health stopped publishing data from the Florida medical examiner in late April, and in March the same department tried to hide official data from media inquiry.SEE ALSO: 7,000 of US coronavirus deaths happened in association with nursing homes. That's almost 20% of all US deaths. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown