US nursing home workers getting Covid-19 at record pace

While deaths have also increased, much of the nursing home population in the US is vaccinated. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Covid-19 cases among US nursing home workers jumped almost tenfold in recent weeks as the Omicron variant raced through America's senior-care facilities.

A record 57,000 nursing home workers tested positive for Covid-19 during the week ending Jan 9, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, up from about 6,000 the week ending Dec 19.

Cases are also spiking among nursing home residents.

About 32,000 residents tested positive last week, close to the previous peak in late 2020.

While deaths have also increased, much of the nursing home population is vaccinated, and the death rate is about one-tenth what it was last winter.

Nursing home industry groups have called on the federal government to provide tests, booster shots, treatments and other support.

"We're extremely concerned how this surge will impact our already dire labour crisis as caregivers must isolate if they test positive," Dr David Gifford, chief medical officer for the American Health Care Association and the National Centre for Assisted Living, said in a news release.

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