Report shows spike in nursing home COVID cases and deaths in December

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 6:04 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2023 at 6:15 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - COVID has been on most people’s backburner for a while now, even during the holiday season. December turned out to be a hard-hitting month for both nursing home residents and staff across the country.

“It’s concerning, it’s really concerning because these are our most vulnerable patients,” said Oschner’s Regional Director, Dr. Aldo Russo.

A report put out by AARP showed a 57% increase in cases among residents and 53% for staff during the month of December. Here at home, there was a spike of 547 more resident cases and 288 more staff cases.

“Nursing home facilities, they need to do a better job when it comes to getting their staff and their people covered. Because we know that those staff, when they leave the nursing home, they go and mingle with everybody, right? Then we know that to obtain herd immunity with these new variants that are coming out you have to make sure that people are protected against all those new variants out there,” Dr. Russo added.

Dr. Russo says even though the virus is less deadly, it comes at a price.

“Locally, the virus is sacrificing severity for infectious capability. So, luckily not too many people are dying but what’s happening is it’s perpetuating the constant mutation of the virus,” Dr. Russo explained.

Nursing home deaths among residents saw a 14% increase nationwide during December with 13 of those in Louisiana.

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