Study: Nursing home deaths much higher than reported

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covid-19, vaccine

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Researchers say federal government data significantly understated the ravages of COVID-19 in nursing homes last year.

Official numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are missing about 12% of COVID cases among nursing home residents and 14% of deaths. That’s according to new estimates published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Network Open, by a Harvard researcher and her team.

It translates to thousands of missing data points, suggesting more than 118,300 nursing home residents died of COVID-19 last year, or about 30% of all coronavirus deaths nationally.

The researchers attributed the data holes to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services not requiring nursing homes to report cases and deaths until May 2020, well into the pandemic. The new estimates rely on numbers from states that required fuller reporting.

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is toughening COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors as he aims to boost vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economy.

That’s according to a person familiar with the plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Biden has signed a new executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors that do business with the federal government. The step comes in advance of a speech Thursday afternoon outlining a six-pronged plan to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases and the stagnating pace of COVID-19 shots.

Biden has encouraged COVID-19 vaccine requirements in schools, workplaces and university campuses. The White House hopes the strengthened federal mandate will inspire more businesses to follow suit.

-By Zeke Miller

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NEW YORK – United Airlines says more than half its workers who weren’t vaccinated last month have gotten the shots since the airline announced it will require proof of vaccination.

The airline is detailing rules around its requirement that employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 by late September. United officials say employees with an exemption from vaccination because of medical conditions or religious beliefs will be placed on unpaid leave in early October. Those whose exemption requests are denied, and who still refuse to get the shots, will be fired.

United is citing “dire” statistics around the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States in explaining its new policy.

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WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will outline a six-pronged federal effort to boost COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant of the coronavirus that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.

The White House says Biden’s afternoon speech Thursday will encourage vaccinations for those who haven’t had a shot and promote new ways to protect those who are vaccinated. He’ll also push efforts to safely keep schools open, as well as new ways to boost testing and promote mask requirements. And he’ll emphasize steps to boost the economic recovery and moves to improve treatment for those with COVID-19.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden will encourage vaccine mandates for workforces and schools.

She says: “We know that increasing vaccinations will stop the spread of the pandemic, will get the pandemic under control, will return people to normal life. That’s what our objective is. So we want to be specific about what we’re trying to achieve.”

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ATLANTA – Atlanta’s public safety net hospital is the latest to temporarily cancel elective surgeries, saying it is overrun with COVID-19 patients.

Grady Memorial Hospital CEO John Haupert said Wednesday that the hospital was “inundated” with patients over Labor Day.

Some other Georgia hospitals have already cancelled elective procedures due to the surge in pandemic cases. More than 5,900 people are in Georgia hospitals with COVID-19.

Gov. Brian Kemp has rejected urgings from two Georgia congressmen that he order elective surgeries be postponed in all Georgia hospitals.

Kemp says the congressmen could better help by persuading the federal government to limit how much staffing companies can charge to provide nurses and other workers to supplement hospital capacity. He also says they should demand clearer federal guidance on plans to provide COVID-19 booster shots.

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(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

9/9/2021 10:16:01 AM (GMT -5:00)

Categories: Archives, COVID-19, Local News, Regional and US News