Weekly virus cases among residents and staff within skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) had been somewhat steady since the vaccine rollout in December 2020. However, the fast-spreading omicron variant has changed the narrative once again and prompted worries around worsening staffing shortages. SNFs are once again faced with rising COVID-19 cases among both residents and staff on top of a reportedly bad flu season compared with 2020.
A Pandmeic Initiative In spring 2020, responding to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NIC launched numerous initiatives to help senior living leaders understand and improve their responses to the crisis. Given the pace of change impacting the industry, NIC began to produce a high volume of relevant and timely data and analysis more frequently than ever before. In just a few months, NIC produced an entire suite of resources aimed at improving access to data and analysis relevant to the impact of COVID-19 on the senior housing and care industry. Part of that effort was to release the NIC Intra-Quarterly Snapshot reports, which, like several other pandemic-related NIC initiatives, is still being produced today.
The path to recovery is never a straight line. While the Delta variant has changed the narrative once again and reportedly affected move-in rates in some seniors housing properties, overall occupancy and demand seem to be experiencing positive momentum.
According to the most recent CMS data compiled by NIC’s Skilled Nursing COVID-19 Tracker, 4.8% of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) reported newly confirmed cases among residents for the week ending August 1, 2021. Half of these facilities had a vaccination rate among staff below 49%, which is 12 percentage points below the national average rate of staff fully vaccinated (60.7%) according to NIC’s Skilled Nursing Covid-19 Tracker.