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Report: Nursing home COVID-19 cases down 82% since December

Two nursing home groups are crediting the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which first became available on Dec. 14.

Cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes have declined 82% since December, two groups that represent thousands of nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country said Tuesday.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living said the U.S. has shown the lowest number of new cases since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services started tracking numbers last May.

There were 33,273 new cases on Dec. 20, but that dropped to 6,077 on Feb. 7. Nursing home deaths also dropped by 63% since Dec. 20, the groups said.

They are crediting the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which first became available on Dec. 14.

"In the same period of time, community cases in the general population dropped by 46 percent, showcasing that vaccines are having an impact in protecting the elderly population in nursing homes," the groups said in a press release.

The groups did not provide data on nursing home vaccinations to bolster the claim.

They said the data shows long term care residents and workers need to continue to be a high priority for getting the vaccine. They added that guidance for nursing home visitations should now be reviewed so residents can again be visited by loved ones.

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Credit: AP
In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo a pharmacist draws saline while preparing a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, Pool, File)

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