Nursing Homes in Every State Report PPE Shortages, With Up to 60% Lacking a Week’s Supply

While there’s considerable variation between states, a new analysis of public data on Wednesday showed that nursing homes have reported some form of personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in every state within the last month.

The AARP released a new set of nursing home COVID-19 data on Wednesday, containing statistics on COVID-19 cases and deaths and shortages of (PPE) and staff for all 50 states.

Maine, the lowest-performing state on this metric, had 60% of nursing homes lacking a one-week supply of PPE — defined as N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, and eye protection during the four weeks covered by the dashboard. More than 30% of Maine’s facilities reported that they lacked a week’s supply of N95 masks, surgical masks, and eye protection for the time period August 24 through September 20

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Across the U.S., 25.5% of nursing homes had a PPE shortage during this reporting period.

The dashboard itself — a product of the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio — will provide four-week snapshots on several metrics, based on self-reported nursing home data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Over the first analysis period, 24% of nursing homes reported at least one confirmed COVID-19 case among residents; 48.3% reported at least one confirmed staff case.

N95 masks remain an issue for facilities, as 11.4% of nursing homes across the country reported shortages of this equipment category. Gowns came next, with 7.4% of facilities nationally reporting that they did not have a week’s supply.

Almost 30% of nursing homes reported some kind of direct worker shortage, with 26.6% of facilities across the country reporting a shortage of aides and 22.6% indicating a dearth of nurses.

The five measures in the dashboard, which will be updated every four weeks and eventually include other categories, are:

  • Resident deaths per 100 residents
  • Resident cases per 100 residents
  • Staff cases per 100 residents
  • Percentage of nursing homes without a one-week supply of PPE
  • Percentage of nursing homes with staffing shortages

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