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COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb in nursing homes

AARP leaders believe with low vaccination rates among nursing home staff, the virus is likely to continue to spread.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New data from AARP's Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard shows a steady increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout nursing homes from mid-July through mid-August.

Resident cases have increased six-fold, staff cases increasing more than eight-fold, and deaths have also increased nine-fold within the four weeks. Many nursing homes counting on increase vaccinations to help make a difference for the better.

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“We kind of expect to see a spike for awhile as vaccination rates still remain low and we’re hopeful that the requirement to get vaccination for staff will lower those numbers," Joe Meyers of AARP of South Carolina said.

Last month President Joe Biden announced all nursing home staff must be vaccinated in order for the facility to continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid federal funding.

RELATED: 'They're the most vulnerable' | AARP concerned for seniors with low rates of COVID-19 vaccination among nursing home staff

Many nursing homes have been quick to comply, but in South Carolina, only 9% of facilities have reached the suggested threshold that 75% of staff be vaccinated.

The continued impact of COVID-19 also playing a part in nursing home staffing shortages and high turn-over rates too.

"Many just feel like it’s no longer worth their risk or effort to keep accepting those kind of jobs,” Meyers said.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

RELATED: FDA backs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk

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