Group says Wisconsin lawmakers need to do more to protect nursing home residents

A report from AARP lists the Badger state is having one of the worst Covid-19 death rates at nursing homes
Published: Dec. 13, 2020 at 6:12 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On the heels of the federal government approving Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, there’s a concern that state and federal agencies aren’t paying enough attention to keeping Covid out of nursing homes.

“When you see death rates seven times higher amongst nursing home residents in a one month period of time, that’s confirmation to enough of us that more needs to be done,” AARP State Director Sam Wilson said.

AARP released data showing that Wisconsin from October 19 to November 15 had one of the highest rates in the Midwest of Covid deaths in nursing homes. Using numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Wisconsin death rate was 2.11 per 100 residents.

“We need to be redoubling any of our efforts, and looking for new and creative ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus into our nursing facilities,” Wilson said.

In an email, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services stated it expected vaccines in the Badger state to arrive to providers, such as Walgreens and CVS, early this week.

DHS added we are still months away from an ample supply of the Covid vaccine.

“We just hope and pray that it will help us alleviate some of these numbers that really are skyrocketing,” Wilson said.

Wisconsin’s health agency is monitoring outbreaks inside nursing homes where it states on its website there are 316 active investigations.

As for the federal data, the numbers lag by a month, which AARP stated doesn’t paint a clear picture of the current situation.

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