Nursing homes and other senior-care facilities have started to allow more visits after a monthslong lockdown to protect vulnerable residents from coronavirus infections, even as the pandemic’s death toll tied to such places surpasses 50,000.
A Wall Street Journal tally of state data compiling fatalities from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, underscores the virus’s heavy cost to those living in long-term-care facilities. Deaths among senior-care center staff and residents appear to represent at least 40% of the overall count of more than 116,000 U.S. fatalities related to Covid-19 as compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The pace of reopening elder-care facilities is uneven around the U.S., with a patchwork of rules that is frustrating some of their operators.
States are trying to strike a delicate balance. Allowing more visitors heightens potential exposure to a virus that is particularly dangerous to frail seniors living in close quarters, and some facilities say protective gear can still be hard to find.