According to a report by The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, COVID-related cases and deaths in nursing homes are down since residents and staff have been receiving the vaccine. In December 2020, during the pandemic’s peak, nearly 6,000 residents were dying nationally every week, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By February 2021, deaths were down to about 2,200 a week.
Because COVID-19 infections and deaths have been declining, some Illinois nursing homes are beginning to allow in person visits for family members. In March 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stated that: “Facilities should allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents (regardless of vaccination status), except for a few circumstances when visitation should be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
However, the CMS also recommends that indoor visit should be limited in cases where an unvaccinated resident is in a county where the coronavirus positivity rate exceeds 10% and fewer than 70% of the facility’s residents are fully vaccinated.