“On one hand, the market fundamentals continue to show signals of progress due to the availability and widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine among America’s seniors—on the other hand, staffing challenges and wage pressures are continuing to put strain on NOI for many operators. These data from the Wave 25 survey support trending improvement in the pace of move-ins and in occupancy rates across each of the care segments. However, staffing shortages that were experienced by many operators prior to and exacerbated by the pandemic persist. Currently, two-thirds of organizations report staffing shortages within their portfolio of properties. Adding to the challenge, nearly all respondents to the Wave 25 survey were paying staff overtime hours, and four out of five organizations were tapping agency/temp staff. The Wave 26 survey currently collecting data will explore strategies operators are implementing to attract staff.” –Lana Peck, Senior Principal, NIC
As the U.S. enters the fourth week of rising COVID-19 cases, nineteen states have reported increasing COVID-19 cases among the general population for the week ending March 21. According to the CDC, Michigan reported the highest increase in COVID-19 cases among the general population at 187%, up from 7,313 cases during the week ending Feb 21 to 20,982 on March 21. Interesting and in contrast, skilled nursing facilities in Michigan reported a 55% decline in newly confirmed cases among residents over the same week-over-week period.
New cases of COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities account for just a quarter of 1% of U.S. cases overall, down from over 5% of cases in June 2020. NIC’s new interactive data visualization tool shows a divergence as case counts among the general population rise in some parts of the U.S., while those in skilled nursing facilities continue to decline. U.S. weekly COVID-19 infections are rising again across several states despite ongoing vaccination efforts. Although we are on the road to herd immunity and case count data in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) suggest that vaccines are indeed effective, the recent uptick in U.S. cases indicates that it is still important to remain vigilant and continue to be cautious regarding enthusiasm about beating the pandemic. It is too early to let our guards down.