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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.

Chart comparing Covid Tracking Project data to federal CMS data.

Our Analysis & Updates

March 31, 2021

What We Know—and What We Don’t Know—About the Impact of the Pandemic on Our Most Vulnerable Community

Residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities suffered an outsized impact from COVID-19. And yet we still don’t know how big of an impact, because so much data is missing or incomplete. What we do know makes plain that we failed to protect this community—and at great cost.
March 8, 2021

Giving Thanks and Looking Ahead: Our Data Collection Work Is Done

While our work to compile COVID-19 data has concluded, we will continue to share research, analysis, and documentation in the months ahead. We are enormously grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who made this work possible.
March 4, 2021

Federal COVID Data 101: Working with CMS Nursing Home Data

Here’s what we know about the only federal dataset on COVID-19 outcomes in long-term care facilities.
January 14, 2021

Vaccine Distribution Data in Long-Term-Care Facilities Needs to Be Public

For the last month, the public has had minimal visibility into the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines to long-term-care facilities. Last week, South Carolina published the names of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities where residents and staff have been vaccinated. States—and the CDC—should follow suit.
See all our analysis of long-term care data