Nursing Homes Are in Crisis. Shutting Down the Economy Won’t Help Them.

Judie Shape, 81, who tested positive for coronavirus, waves as her daughter Lori Spencer and husband Michael Spencer visit outside her room at the Care Center of Kirkland in Kirkland, Wash., March 17, 2020. (Jason Redmond/Reuters)
As states begin to adjust their lockdown policies, they should consider a more targeted approach that accounts for the outsized risk faced by nursing homes.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE R eports are rolling in about the role nursing homes play in the COVID-19 pandemic and the numbers are horrifying. In Minnesota, 73 percent of all COVID-19 deaths are related to nursing homes. In Massachusetts, the figure is 55 percent. More-systematic reporting and data-collection efforts have resulted in upward revisions in many states of the percentage of deaths associated with nursing homes. Connecticut significantly revised its estimate upward this week, concluding that over half of all coronavirus-related deaths in the state involved nursing home residents instead of its earlier estimate of one-third. Colorado this week announced that 64 percent of its


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