COVID’s staggering toll on long-term care facilities

American Health Care Association CEO Mark Parkinson talks about the record number of COVID cases and the steps needed from Congress to help protect nursing home residents and caregivers.
4:47 | 12/01/20

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Transcript for COVID’s staggering toll on long-term care facilities
Our nation's nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been terribly hit hard by the Covert nineteen pandemic suffering over 100000. Deaths. The numbers continue to rise in these long term care facilities accounting for a staggering 40%. Of the country's corona virus deaths. Let's bring in be president and CEO of the national health care association and the national center for assisted living Mark Parkinson mark thank you so much for being with us and give us a sense. Of where things stand right now at this country's nursing home and an assisted living facilities how bad is it right now. Well I'm sure our worst white curtains from maturing. Escalate and spread like wild fire cost the excrete. It's found its way back from the long term care facilities so you don't last boring we thought we see the absolute worst. You're averaging Kiki now to 101000 new cases of long term care buildings a week. We worked hard he cut that number she asked you about 5000 week. Unfortunately the most recent data in your house or what 151000. New cases. Every single week and these openings and the tragedy here is that we know that about 20%. People on long term care. Get Copeland will dot so we're looking at note in the future of 3000 last week. Until we get past the backs. And till we get the vaccine we keep being told help is on the way there has been some encouraging news about the vaccine in wins going to roll out the CDC. Meeting and going to give recommendations being today in going to give recommendations about. The order the priority who should be getting the vaccine first foes no debate really health care workers should get it first but also. In that priority group do you believe certainly. Who long term care. Staff nursing home staff and the residents should be on that priority list. Yes it is absolutely critical that the CDC decide to debt. But not only culture war groups but also a resident students who saw what we should be at the caps who top the priority list. You know what you indicated she came into this segment. 7% of the Kubrick cases have dental folks are more Richard Baker what leads but it's 40%. The depths. So if we can pull too generous country and in the next sixty days vaccinated all of these residents we can cut the death rate almost in half. So we really hope that the CDC makes that right decision today. And now that the governor Ers who were not bound by the CDC recommendations. Just a recommendation. We help that they won't do the right back and make sure that all of these residents get vaccinated immediately. And speaking of recommendations the trump administration last month made some new recommendations for. Staff and for residents of these long term care facilities saying to avoid. Contact with relatives during the holidays but I'm hoping you can speak to. The problem with that in terms of the negative impact on the mental well being which can lead to the physical issues for so many of these. Residents there. It's really talking Austin a lot of years of my wife on the floor assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the residents need. Her relatives. You know the staff you don't and a fall in love with these residents and do everything they can to make them feel comfortable and at home. But there's no substitute war they're kids they're great interest or spouses. And unfortunately they've now been isolated for about eight months it's another reason why it's absolutely critical that we get this population vaccinated. Get this nightmare behind us and rejoined news residents with their what. Once beyond this are you going to see some potential with the beyond just the health and care. For these folks are or are we going to see potential closures of long term. Care facilities nursing homes because there's not. Well enough financial some relief coming in particular from congress in some type of relief package. Or is that a possibility of seeing some the mass closures. Yeah unfortunately it is geneticist and a clinical nightmare and we know that but it's also been very bad on the business side senses in these buildings is dropped dramatically expenses have increased significantly. And although there has since good help from the federal government. We need a new stimulus package haven't passed the stimulus package now at about seven months and issued orders wanted. Infighting that's occurring the whole country for whole variety of folks you just into most open past. And were certainly a part of that and without it there will be more closures at these awards. And this is such a critical issue for so many families in this country president and CEO of American health care association a national center for assisted living Mark Parkinson. Thank you we certainly appreciate your time in your leadership. Thank you for highlighting this important should.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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