COVID-19 cases and deaths decrease in nursing homes in likely sign of vaccine success

Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant
·1 min read

COVID-19 cases and deaths in Connecticut nursing homes decreased once again this week, in a likely sign that vaccination in those settings have begun to have an affect on coronavirus spread in the state.

The state recorded 166 new cases among nursing home residents from Jan. 20-26, down 30% from last week and down 66% from three weeks prior. Similarly, cases among nursing home staff are down 58% over the past three week.

Deaths among nursing home residents decreased in the state’s most recent report as well, from 110 last week to 66 this week.

Given the timing, the drop in cases and deaths in nursing home appears to owe, at least in part, to the state’s vaccination efforts. All nursing home residents who wanted a vaccine received their first doses by Jan. 8, state officials have said, and most have now received their second doses as well.

COVID-19 vaccine recipients typically develop some antibodies soon after their first doses and are considered fully inoculated two weeks after their second doses.

Though COVID-19 cases have decreased statewide in recent weeks, the drop has been particularly sharp in nursing homes, where most residents have been vaccinated. Nursing home residents have been more likely than other eligible groups to accept vaccination, with more than 85% agreeing to receive one, state officials say.

Keith Grant, Hartford HealthCare’s senior system director for infection prevention, said last week that vaccination was “absolutely” affecting nursing home numbers and predicted mortality in nursing homes will soon decrease by “80 or 90%.”

Alex Putterman can be reached at aputterman@courant.com.