LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has released detailed COVID data compiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which contained nursing home booster data publicly available for the first time last week on Dec. 10.
Most notably, 58% of Nebraska's nursing home residents have received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccination, while 20% of nursing home staff have received boosters.
In Iowa, the numbers are nearly the same at 60% residents boosted and 19% of staff boosted.
The AARP is calling for these groups to receive boosters in order to continue protecting themselves and others.
Data for Nebraska's nursing homes shows that there are an average of 2.11 COVID cases per every 100 residents and an average of 3.08 staff cases. Iowa is in nearly the same boat with 2.6 cases per 100 residents and 3.1 staff cases.
The figures for both states in both categories are about double as high as the national average for the most recent period, which reflects a national average of 1.2 cases per 100 residents and 1.4 cases per 100 nursing home staff members.
There have been 19 nursing home resident deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the last four-week period reported in the state of Nebraska and 54 in Iowa.
A further dive into the numbers shows that those that are fully vaccinated are much higher than those boosted. In Nebraska, 93% of nursing home residents are fully vaccinated while about 77% of nursing home staff are vaccinated; in Iowa, 94% of residents were fully vaccinated while 74% of healthcare staff were.
The low number of care staff boosters is coupled with a nationwide nursing home staffing shortage, which revealed that 30% of nursing homes do not have a complete staff of direct care workers available.
These statistics are according to the most recently completed report that reflects data in a four-week period gathered until Nov. 21, which included 97% of all nursing home facilities in the state of Nebraska and 92% respondents for the state of Iowa.
The CMS only included long-term care facilities to gather data and this excludes other types of senior living facilities.