Contact: Jim Flaherty, Communications Director
Office 608/ 286-6308 – Cell 608/ 698-0928, [email protected]

MADISON – While the latest release of AARP's Nursing Home
COVID-19 Dashboard shows significant incremental improvements in the
number of deaths and new infections in Wisconsin’s nursing homes, AARP
warns that now is not the time for these facilities to let their guard down.
From Dec. 21 to Jan. 17, the rate of coronavirus cases per 100 nursing home
residents declined almost by half among residents and staff compared to the
previous month. The number of cases dropped from 9.9 per 100 residents in the
four-week period ending Dec. 20 to 5.1 cases per 100 in the four-week period
ending Jan. 17.

During the same time period, the rate of new nursing home staff COVID-19
cases dropped from 10.3 per 100 nursing home residents to 6.0.

Deaths in Wisconsin nursing homes also dropped by nearly half when comparing
data from Dec. 21 to Jan. 17 with the previous four-week period. Deaths dropped
from 2.70 per 100 residents in the month leading up to Dec. 20 to 1.36 per 100 in
the latest dashboard.

Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) have decreased slightly over
the same period, from 34.6% of Wisconsin nursing homes without at least a one-
week supply in December to 27.2% in January.

Meanwhile, staffing shortages are improving but remain a persistent problem,
with 39.7% of facilities reporting a shortage in the most recent dashboard, which
is down from 43.4% in the previous four-week period.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 150,000 lives have been lost in
nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and nearly 1.3 million people
are known to have been infected with coronavirus in these facilities.
AARP has been urging Governor Evers and state lawmakers to protect nursing
home residents and staff from COVID-19.

“The dashboard data over the last two months of 2020 painted a very dire picture
for our nursing homes in WI with accelerating numbers of cases and deaths
throughout the state,” said AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson. “At that
time, we pleaded with everyone in our communities to redouble our health and
safety efforts and prioritize the vaccination process for our vulnerable nursing
home residents. Today’s nursing home dashboard release is proof positive that
combination is working and working in a big way in Wisconsin.”

While the latest data is showing that Wisconsin is moving in the right direction,
Wilson said the number of cases and deaths in these facilities is still high. He
said, “now is not the time to let down our guard”. He also said policy leaders
should not take away the rights of residents to hold nursing homes accountable
when they fail to provide adequate care

The  AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard  analyzes federally reported data
in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020.
Using this data, the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps
Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the dashboard to
provide snapshots of the virus' infiltration into nursing homes and impact on
nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of
concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner.

The Dashboard is available at  www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard . For more
information on how COVID is impacting nursing homes and AARP's advocacy on
this issue, visit  www.aarp.org/nursinghomes

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