Using state and federal data, we can estimate that as of March 2021:
About 8% of people who live in US long-term-care facilities have died of COVID-19—nearly 1 in 12. For nursing homes alone, the figure is nearly 1 in 10.
The most complete figures we can assemble are both an estimate and a severe undercount of the true impact on long-term-care residents. Because of the historical deaths missing from both state and federal data, non-standard state reporting, and the absence of federal reporting requirements for long-term-care facilities, we believe that the true toll of the pandemic among these residents is higher than these figures can show. Read our analysis or use our data.
Throughout the pandemic, long-term-care facility deaths made up over a third of all US deaths based on COVID Tracking Project (CTP) data, which includes nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) only reports data for nursing homes, where a quarter of deaths in the US occurred. The impact on these communities is likely higher than this figure shows because of missing historical deaths from both state and CMS data, and inconsistent, non-standardized reporting by states.