More than 100,000 Americans linked to nursing homes and long-term care facilities have now died due to COVID-19, according to a recent report.
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to the highly-contagious virus, making assisted-living facilities and retirement centers particularly at risk. It is estimated that of the 260,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths recorded by Johns Hopkins University, long-term care facilities account for 40% of them.
Most senior communities have been particularly restrictive about access from outsiders and have instituted a rigid testing protocol for their staffs. Still, from the earliest days of the pandemic until now, once the virus reaches the community, suppressing an outbreak has proved difficult.
Having passed the 100,000 barrier, and facing a national surge in cases, officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are particularly concerned about the coming month.
One spokesperson said the CMS was "extremely concerned about increased community spread of COVID-19 going into this holiday season, which we believe has contributed to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in America's nursing homes."