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Oregon Nursing Home Deaths Outpace National Average

In this July 31, 2020, file photo, Romelia Navarro, 64, weeps while hugging her husband, Antonio, in his final moments in a COVID-19 unit at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The coronavirus pandemic’s taken an unusually high toll on Oregonians living and working in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.  That’s because they’re outpacing the national average death rate in the facilities of 40 percent.

Joyce De Monnin,  is a Director of AARP Oregon.  She says, “According to Kaiser Family Foundation, in Oregon, more than 1300 nursing home residents and staff died from COVID-19, which is actually 53% of all Oregon deaths.”

She calls it a nursing home crisis.  So, its causes include, “A lack of PPE in some nursing homes across the state, and we also have an understaffing of nursing homes in Oregon.”
De Monnin explains what her group is pushing for.  “Higher standards of infections control and staffing rates,” because that would save lives.

She recommends that anyone with a family member or loved one in a nursing home be prepared to ask key questions.

1. How far along are COVID-19 vaccinations?
2. Has anyone at the facility tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks?
3. What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?
4. Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides and other workers?

Resources and support for families, caregivers and others are available at:

If you’re concerned about the safety and well-being of a loved one who lives in a nursing home, you can find your state’s long-term care ombudsman at:

Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard & Fact Sheets are available here:

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