NC lags behind national average for nursing home staff vaccinations


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The White House announced this week they would require nursing homes to fully vaccinate all their staff against COVID-19 or lose federal funding. The conditions applied to long-term care facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The administration said this would apply to more than 15,000 nursing home facilities with 1.3 million workers.

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Nationwide, the Center for Medicaire for Medicaid Services reported 80-percent of nursing home residents are vaccinated. Meanwhile, just 60-percent of staff nationwide are vaccinated.

The percentage is lower in North Carolina.

COVID-19 in NC: 7,000+ new cases as state records 14,000th death

While nursing home patients here are on par with the national average, just 54-percent of nursing home staff are vaccinated. That put the state in 14th place for the least staffing vaccinations.

Furthermore, Puerto Rico had the highest percentage with 90-percent of staff vaccinated. Louisiana had the fewest with approximately 45-percent of staff vaccinated.

Additionally, North Carolina has reported at least 679,155 cases of COVID-19 as part of outbreaks associated with congregate living settings.

Of those, 37,035 were in nursing homes. Since the start of the pandemic, the state as counted 111 outbreaks in nursing homes.

In North Carolina, Mecklenburg County has the largest number of current outbreaks at 14. Four of those were in nursing homes while the remaining 10 were in residential care facilities.

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