Nearly 50 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Indiana occurred in the state’s nursing homes.
As of May 25, more than 1,800 Indiana residents had died from COVID-19. About 47 percent of those were nursing home residents. In fact, according to the Indiana State Department of Health, the numbers of new cases of COVID-19 in Indiana as well as deaths from the infection seem to be leveling off. However, the trend is just the opposite in nursing homes, where case numbers and deaths continue to rise.
The Indiana State Department of Heath estimates that there have been 4,086 COVID-19 cases in the state, with Indiana nursing homes accounting for as many as 876 deaths. Nursing home residents account for just about 12 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the state, but make up close to half of all fatalities. Greenwood Healthcare in Johnson County has had the worst outbreak with 107 COVID-19 cases resulting in 32 deaths.
For many families of nursing home residents, the wait to hear about the health of their loved one has been very difficult. These families have had no access to information about their loved one in the midst of the lockdown. Across the country, similar scenes have played out as nursing homes have collapsed in the face of the aggressive virus.
Nursing homes have been very vulnerable to a large scale outbreak of this sort for a while now. COVID-19 has only demonstrated the safety and health risks at these facilities. One of the biggest factors in the outbreak spreading as successfully it has in these facilities is the paucity of staff. Under staffing is very common in Indiana nursing homes, and it has meant a drop in quality standards that has left elderly residents very susceptible to a virus that specifically attacks weakened immune systems. Considering that so many nursing homes are understaffed, with few staff members to enforce sanitation and social distancing measures, it is no surprise that the virus spread unchecked at many of these facilities.