Higher COVID cases = greater care needs - SpecialtyRx
July 9, 2020
Higher COVID cases = greater care needs

New survey captures coronavirus stats across all senior care sectors

Which setting has the highest confirmed cases? Read on to see.


As part of their insights into Senior Housing and Care, the National Investment Center recently released new COVID-19 data linking existing conditions to specific care settings. The ​point-in-time survey indicates that confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus are more prevalent in health care settings where residents have greater needs.

The NIC report concedes that facilities providing higher levels of care have greater access to testing supplies and perform more tests in general. Still, the survey brings awareness to long-term care operators, their partners, and the public. Instead of highlighting current infection rates by state or date, the research zeroes in on care segments.

“Providing data on current penetration rates gives perspective on how the sector has adapted in the three months since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic,” writes NIC reporter Ryan Brooks. “Providing data by care segment enables insights into how COVID-19 has impacted the different populations in each segment, which vary substantially in levels of health.”

Spread by sector

Breakdown by demographic

Up until now, media coverage of coronavirus in long-term care has centered upon cumulative numbers. Across the board, facilities are testing more frequently, but have also seen a steady rise in confirmed positives. With NIC’s newfound data, operators can finally see the positive impact of changes made post-pandemic.

“These facilities changed procedures dramatically since the pandemic began as testing and treatment guidelines became available,” says NIC President Brian Jurutka. “We prevented visitation, suites were set up for potential COVID-19 residents, [and] policies and procedures changed. The cumulative numbers give you no sense as to what happened and how things changed in the community.”

NIC’s differentiated approach gives a much more accurate look at how visitation restrictions, PPE access, employee testing, treatment tactics, and other complex factors have helped shape the industry’s greater community trends. For instance, nursing home residents typically require higher levels of care, and therefore, more frequent one-on-one assistance. These daily interactions increase their risk of exposure, while residents in independent living facilities have minimal staff contact and can social distance properly.

“The data reinforces that COVID-19 affects residents of different types of senior living facilities differently,” Jurutka concludes. “A main reason is because these facilities offer different levels of care and serve different populations. Each must be considered separately to form and implement a sector-wide response.”

To explore more detailed findings of the survey, visit ​NIC.org​.


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