Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes have emerged as prime hotspots for Covid-19 outbreaks. In the United States, nursing-home residents and staff represent only 8% of Covid-19 cases, yet bear 41% of Covid-19 deaths based on data reported August 13.1 Beyond experiencing the ravages of the disease itself, residents have been traumatized by the impact of nursing homes restricting visitors and curtailing group activities in an effort to mitigate spread of this virus. The resulting physical and mental harm—and increased vulnerabilities—to residents is common knowledge and troubling. Furthermore, the pandemic’s spread in these institutions has exposed and exacerbated long-standing, underlying challenges in this care setting. For example, dynamics of the U.S. federal system—where public health, emergency management, health services, and long-term care authorities function at federal, state, and local levels—have resulted in a patchwork approach to infection prevention and control that many believe has contributed to our nation’s inability to contain the spread of the virus.