COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise again in the United States, with seniors increasing the number of deaths. This is a worrying trend as the winter season approaches, and there is the need for increased vigilance and protective measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of older adults.
One major concern is the low vaccination rate among nursing home residents, with less than half being up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. This puts them at higher risk of contracting the virus and experiencing severe illness. Nursing home leaders are redoubling efforts to get staff and residents vaccinated, but they face challenges such as complacency, misinformation, and COVID-19 fatigue.
The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that hospitalizations for people with COVID-19 have risen by more than 30% in two weeks. Much of this increase is driven by older people and those with existing health conditions, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These numbers include everyone testing positive, regardless of the reason for their hospitalization.
It's clear that more needs to be done to protect seniors from the dangers of COVID-19. Dr. Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, has stated that "we're doing a terrible job of that in this country." Nursing home leaders are calling on the White House to take an "all hands on deck" approach to address this issue.
As 81-year-old nursing home resident Bartley O’Hara pointed out, "we're all in this together." It's important for everyone to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones, especially seniors, from the risks posed by the coronavirus. This includes getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, and following social distancing guidelines. By working together and taking these precautions, we can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable population.
Happy Holidays and Stay Safe Everyone!