Less than 1% of America’s population lives in long-term care facilities, but as of October 22, 2020, this tiny fraction of the country accounts for 41% of US COVID-19 deaths.
Cumulative COVID-19 totals represent total cases, deaths and facilities as reported by states and territories as of October 22, 2020. For states who report current outbreaks but not cumulative data, CTP carries the highest reported outbreak case or death total. Due to outbreak reporting, CTP’s aggregated cumulative data for these states under-reports actual cumulative totals. This information can be found in our Aggregate Dataset. States vary in their reported cumulative data start date. Not all states and territories report long-term care data. Total cases represent a combined total of resident and staff COVID-19 cases and probable cases. Total deaths represent a combined total of resident and staff COVID-19 deaths and probable deaths. Total Number of Facilities represent the number of facilities affected by COVID-19. This total includes Long-Term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Assisted Living Facilities.
To date, the Long-Term Care COVID Tracker is the most comprehensive dataset about COVID-19 in US long-term care facilities. It compiles crucial data about the effects of the pandemic on a population with extraordinary vulnerabilities to the virus due to age, underlying health conditions, or proximity to large outbreaks.
The dataset compiles all currently available information of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in long-term care facilities—nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and other care homes—and tracks both residents and staff.
On August 12, we launched the Long-Term Care COVID Tracker, but the work of compiling the dataset began much earlier. On May 21, 2020, a team within The COVID Tracking Project started collecting long-term care data from every state that reported it.
Every Thursday evening, this dedicated team of volunteers gathers COVID-19 case and death data reported in long-term care facility residents and staff from state and territory websites, recent press conferences and releases, and directly from state health department officials. We publish this data every Friday as a cumulative, current outbreak and aggregate dataset.
Reporting standards vary drastically across the nation, and many states share data that’s difficult to find, challenging to export or unavailable without a direct relationship with the state. Some states report cumulative cases and deaths while others report only current outbreaks. Every state defines an outbreak in a different way. We’ve done our best to represent the scale and scope of the pandemic within these communities, despite these variations.
Public notes accompany each state’s and territory’s data to explain the intricacies of what they report. You’ll also find definitions of our data categories throughout the tracker to help you navigate and use these datasets. These datasets aim to only represent facilities for seniors like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential care homes, and excludes, when possible, facilities not specifically for the elderly like chemical dependency residential treatment centers, behavioral health residential facilities, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Deaths in Long-Term Care Facilities by Region
Note: The chart shows reported deaths in long-term care facilities by region and the date that they were reported. This chart shows all of the deaths reported from the beginning of the pandemic up until June 1, as well as all of the deaths reported since then, revealing which regions have had more LTC deaths in the first or second half of the pandemic.
Common terms you’ll find throughout the tracker:
- Long-term care: A broad term that includes all types of facilities that provide housing and care to seniors and others.
- Cumulative: COVID-19 total data within the time frame of the date of reporting and the reported collection starting date. States vary in their reported cumulative data start date.
- Current outbreaks: A COVID-19 outbreak is reported when the first COVID-19 case (or cases) is identified in a facility. This outbreak is considered closed once a specified time period (28 days, 14 days, etc.) has passed without the discovery of a new case.
- Aggregate: For states who report current outbreaks but not cumulative data, CTP carries the highest reported outbreak case or death total. Due to outbreak reporting, CTP’s aggregated cumulative data for these states under-reports actual cumulative totals.
- Probables: Probables are cases or deaths reported by states, where a person had symptoms of COVID-19 but no positive laboratory COVID-19 test. Reporting differs by state about which symptoms constitute a probable case. For probable deaths, reporting differs by pre-mortem symptoms, post-mortem health signifiers, and health officials reporting the death.
- Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities: A facility that provides nursing care to older adults and others who need daily assistance. Additional skilled care, such as rehabilitative services, may also be available. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulates these facilities.
- Assisted Living Facilities: A facility that provides housing and meals, personal care assistance and other supportive health services to promote resident independence. States generally regulate these facilities.
- Uncategorized Long-Term Care Facilities: This category represents data from states that combine both state and federally regulated facilities into one lump sum for cases, deaths or facilities. Due to some state’s aggregated reporting, this category may contain nursing home and assisted living facilities along with chemical dependency residential treatment centers, behavioral health residential facilities, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
- Other Care Facilities: The Other category houses data from state-regulated long-term care facilities like personal care homes that are not Assisted Living Facilities. Federally-regulated facilities like Nursing Homes or Skilled Nursing Facilities are not included in this category.
The table below presents a summary of long-term care staff or resident confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths reported by states. Every state reports differently. Some states do not report at all. Refer to the state notes for more information.
Team Leads: Artis Curiskis and Kara Oehler
Data Visualizations: Conor Kelly
Data Team: Aarushi Sahejpal, Aliya Uteuova, Annie Rydland, Caitlin Glennon, Danielle Bloch, Denise Heitzenroder, Emma Rubin, Emily Temple-Wood, Eva Sher, Evan Sorenson, Glen Johnson, Hannah Cummins, Hannah Hoffman, Isha Pasumarthi, J. Albert Bowden II, Jake Burns, Javier E Thomas, Jeffrey Ndubisi, Jesse Anderson, Matthias Shapiro, Meghan Burks-Lenz, Michael Spicer, Nathanael Roy, Pat Kelly, Rick Palmer, Tara Devlin, Terra July Riley, Sarah Anderson, Stacey Rupolo, Steve Thomas, and William John Condon
Contributors: Aarushi Sahejpal, Alexis Madrigal, Amanda French, Caroline Dulaney, Carol Cronin, Ciara McCarthy, Conor Kelly, Danielle Bloch, Deirdre Kennedy, Elizabeth Eads, Elliott Klug, Erin Kissane, Harrison Frank, Jessamine Fitzpatrick, Jess Engebretson, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Jordan Gass-Poore’, Kevin Miller, Laura Bult, Judith Oppenheim, Julia Kodysh, Júlia Ledur, Lindsay Muscato, Peter Walker, Rowan Moore Gerety, Ryan Kailath, Sarah Hoffmann, Sara McCrea, and Whet Moser