TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Deaths in Florida’s nursing homes doubled during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to statistics gathered by the AARP. But Florida’s rate was dramatically lower than the national average, as COVID-19 infections across the country surged.
In the three weeks straddling the Thanksgiving holiday, the rate of deaths in Florida nursing homes was 4.7 for every 1,000 residents — more than double the 2.3-death average recorded in the four weeks leading into the holiday. The data was partly culled from statistics generated by the Centers for Disease Control. Nationally, the death rate over the holiday period was 15.3 deaths per 1,000.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has made it a priority to protect the state’s elderly, and patients and staff at nursing homes statewide began injecting vaccines last week.
Nationally, the rate of deaths among nursing home residents, as well infections to not only residents but the staff who care for them, has more than tripled over the past seven weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 106,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.