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March to November 2020 Saw Drop in COVID-19 Mortality at Nursing Homes

MONDAY, March 15, 2021 -- Between March and November 2020, there was a decrease in 30-day mortality rates among nursing home residents with COVID-19, according to a report published online March 11 in Health Affairs.

Cyrus M. Kosar, from the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues examined changes in 30-day mortality rates between March and November 2020 among 12,271 nursing home residents with COVID-19 using clinical data obtained for 282 nursing homes in 24 states owned by a large provider.

The researchers observed a significant decline in adjusted mortality rates from a high of 20.9 percent in early April to 11.2 percent in early November. Decreases in mortality rates were seen for residents with symptomatic infections and asymptomatic infections and for those with high and low clinical complexity.

"Understanding the dynamic risk for mortality from COVID-19 among nursing home residents is critical for identifying the mechanisms affecting outcomes in this vulnerable population," the authors write. "Future research is needed to explore the impact of other extrinsic factors affecting COVID-19 mortality in nursing homes, including improvements in personal protective equipment supply, staff adoption of and skill with personal protective equipment, specific changes in the clinical management of COVID-19, and potential severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 genetic variants."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the nursing home and long-term care industries.

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