COVID-19 Causes Nursing Home Crisis

COVID-19 Causes Nursing Home Crisis

It is estimated that at least 25 percent of US COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in nursing home and assistance living facilities. Thousands of facilities nationwide have reported cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff. There have been severe staff shortages because many staff are concerned for their safety. Plus, many are unwilling to work in conditions characterized by insufficient testing and personal protective equipment (PPE).

For many facilities, COVID-19 has exposed long-standing issues regarding how nursing home services are managed and financed. The limited financial and staffing structure leaves many nursing homes in a weak position to respond to a crisis such as COVID-19. Ample time for testing, monitoring, isolating and treatment of patients is needed. Nursing home and assistance living facilities depends on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. In the midst of the pandemic, neither the federal nor most state governments have made any great attempts to prioritize the prevention and detection of COVID-19 in nursing homes. The large federal mandates and aid packages to support hospitals and other healthcare facilities have largely left out nursing homes.

If nursing home infections can be decreased, the enormous toll on nursing home residents and their loved ones will be lessened. We can win this war against this virus by working as a community to overcome this crisis.


Grabowski, D (2020, May 22). Nursing Home Care Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19. JAMA Network.

Khimm, D (2020, October 27). The hidden Covid-19 health crisis: Elderly people are dying from isolation. NBC News.

Fortier, J (2020, October 26). They Work in Several Nursing Homes To Eke Out A Living, And That May Spread The Virus. NPR News Station.