New coronavirus cases among nursing home residents have plummeted by nearly 80 percent from late December to early February, according to The New York Times.
In an analysis of federal data, the news outlet found that outbreaks at long-term care facilities have dropped at a rate almost double that of the general population.
“I’m almost at a loss for words at how amazing it is and how exciting,” David Gifford, the chief medical officer for the American Health Care Association, told the Times. “If we are seeing a robust response with this vaccine with the elderly with a highly contagious disease, I think that’s a great sign for the rest of the population.”
The distribution of coronavirus vaccines across the nation has been largely credited by experts for the significant decrease in COVID-19 cases among nursing homes, the Times reported. Almost 4.5 million staff and residents at nursing home facilities have been given the first dose of the vaccine and 2.1 million have been fully vaccinated.
The downward trend in infections in nursing homes is on par with a decrease that has been seen nationwide.
"We now appear to be in a consistent downward trajectory" for both cases and hospital admissions, Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky said earlier this month.
Some nursing homes, like Valley Senior Living in Grand Forks, N.D., have begun to allow residents to have visitors again and are hopeful that conditions will continue to improve.
“Things are better,” Garth Rydland, the chief executive at Valley Senior Living, told the Times. “You kind of knock on wood every time you say something like that, but now, I feel a lot more confident.”