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AARP: COVID deaths double in Wisconsin's nursing homes

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COVID-19 deaths in Wisconsin’s nursing homes doubled in the past two months, according to data compiled by AARP.

The death rate from the virus rose from 0.05 percent of Wisconsin nursing home residents in mid-August to 0.11 percent in mid-September.

“We’re at exactly the same place in 2021 as we were in 2020,” Sam Wilson, the AARP Wisconsin State Director, says. “Of course, that’s cause for concern because we saw a huge wave of deaths last winter and we’re hoping not to repeat that in 2021.”

To prevent the upward trend from continuing, Wilson is calling on industry leaders and elected officials to develop a plan to distribute booster shots.

“We’re renewing calls to the industry and to our elected officials to ensure we have a good strategy in place and that we’re able to easily operationalize getting those booster shots into the arms of nursing home residents and staff so that they’re both protected in this environment,” he says.

While 87 percent of nursing home residents are vaccinated against the virus in Wisconsin, just two-thirds of nursing home staff members can say the same.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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