North and South Carolina nursing homes report hundreds of coronavirus cases and outbreaks in recent weeks. Hospitalizations and deaths remain steady. Poor infection control make it easy for COVID to spread.
Healthcare experts and elder advocates urge long-term care facilities to get all eligible residents and staff a booster shot by year’s end. Early access to boosters provides protection limiting hospitalizations and deaths.
Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D., Assistant U.S. Secretary for Health, said:
“What we are seeing now is an urgent need to get those booster shots, and we need to support the goal of getting all those eligible to get their booster shots by the end of this year. That’s 10 days. Getting the boosters must happen in the next couple weeks… We really have one, two, three weeks until, everywhere, the surge is here and hospitals are potentially overwhelmed.”
Booster shot efforts in nursing homes are weak. Nursing homes cannot prohibit visitors based on vaccination status either.
AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson told CNN his organization was on “high alert, adding that achieving a 90% booster rate among residents is the group’s top priority. Our residents have a lot of frailties, so we’re extremely concerned.”