Nursing Homes Are Starkly Vulnerable to Coronavirus
Over the weekend, a nightmarish scenario unfolded in a Seattle suburb, with the announcement that the coronavirus had struck a nursing home. The outbreak, leaving seven dead and eight others ill through Wednesday morning, exposed the great vulnerability of the nation’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and the 2.5 million Americans who live in them.
These institutions have been under increasing scrutiny in recent years for a unique role they play in inflaming epidemics. Research shows these homes can be poorly staffed and plagued by lax infection-control practices, and that residents frequently cycle to and from hospitals, bringing germs back and forth.