JAMA Health Forum – Health Policy, Health Care Reform, Health Affairs | JAMA Health Forum | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
In the News
May 25, 2021

Most US Nursing Homes Had Multiple, Sustained COVID-19 Outbreaks, GAO Reports

Author Affiliations
  • 1Consulting Editor, JAMA Health Forum and JAMA
JAMA Health Forum. 2021;2(5):e211621. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.1621

The majority of US nursing homes experienced 2 or more outbreaks of COVID-19 from May 2020 through January 2021, and many such outbreaks had weeks of sustained transmission, according to a report from the federal government’s Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In addition, two-thirds of the outbreaks began with a staff member who tested positive during the first week of a given outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on residents in the nation’s more than 15 000 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes. “While the introduction of vaccines and the sharp decline in nursing home cases and deaths since their peaks in December 2020 may indicate that nursing homes are seeing a reprieve, little is still known about the frequency and duration of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes at critical points during the pandemic,” the report notes.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words