More good news for nursing homes and long term care facilities in the Yakima Valley and throughout the state. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, which represent more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities in the Yakima Valley and around the country has released a report that shows a rapid decline in COVID-19 cases in nursing and long term care homes. The reason for the decline? The report says it was the initial vaccine allocations prioritized for nursing homes that saved thousands of lives. In fact the information shows "nursing homes have seen a 96 percent decline in new COVID cases among residents since the peak during the week of December 20 of last year when there were more than 30,000 new resident cases.
Along with the lowest number of new COVID cases, AHCA/NCAL’s new report shows COVID related deaths in nursing homes declined by 91 percent since December 20, 2020. Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL says "we are not out of the woods yet, but these numbers are incredibly encouraging and a major morale booster for frontline caregivers who have been working tirelessly for more than a year to protect our residents, this trend shows that when long term care is prioritized, as with the national vaccine rollout, we can protect our vulnerable elderly population. Now we need Congress to prioritize our nursing homes for the long-term by considering the initiatives in the Care For Our Seniors Act to improve the quality of care for our residents.”
Many of those in nursing homes were not allowed to visit with family members during the pandemic but just last month Washington State officials begin allowing visits to nursing homes and long term care homes as long as either the visitor of resident is vaccinated.

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