Coronavirus fatalities in long-term care facilities have surpassed a grim threshold in much of the country, accounting for at least a third of the deaths in 26 states and more than half in 14 of those.

The data, published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, reports tallies from a variety of care facilities, including nursing homes, adult care residences and other skilled nursing care settings but does not break out those categories separately.

The striking figures offer only a partial glimpse of the devastating impact of the virus on patients, residents and staff members ahead of the new mandate that requires officials to disclose coronavirus cases and deaths in nursing homes and long-term living residences to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York has the highest number of overall deaths related to COVID-19 in the country. It also has the highest death rate in what Kaiser Family Foundation describes as long-term care facilities.

As of May 5, the foundation reported 5,215 people died from the virus in long-term care facilities in New York — 20 percent of the state’s total number of dead. New Jersey had the second-highest rate with 4,556 reported cases in their facilities, 53 percent of the state’s total death toll.

Until now, most states volunteered a patchwork of metrics at their own discretion. But the new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demands that states report coronavirus-related information to the CDC on a weekly basis. It also requires states to divulge additional data, including Personal Protective Equipment and hand hygiene supplies, resident access to testing and staffing shortages.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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