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Nursing homes account for 1/3 of all US deaths

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NATIONAL- (KTAL) With local government restrictions lessening, and as more states begin to reopen; it seems we may be seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. However, these re-openings do not mean that cases or deaths have ceased.

The death toll has topped more than 81,000 in the United States alone. But how does, the coronavirus decide who will fall to the illness and who will not?

According to the CDC, the people most susceptible to the illness are those with pre-existing underlying medical diseases and those over the age of 65. To protect yourself, that group of people, and others who are at high risk the CDC suggested practicing social distancing and keeping a 6 foot distance from one another. With this new set of guidelines for the entire nation, nursing homes and assisted living facilities were not always able to follow the guideline because of the close living quarters.

Out of the 81-thousand deaths here in the United States more than 27-thousand of those are deaths have happened in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Yesterday in a video conference call with state governors Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, strongly recommended that all residents and staff of these types of facilities be tested for COVID-19 over the next two weeks.

This comes more than two months after an outbreak outside of Seattle that ultimately killed more than 45 people. The United States has over 15,000 nursing homes, that adds up to about 1 million residents. However, the federal government has not ordered more testing for them and it is not clear why more testing is being recommended now according to Associated Press.

Yesterday In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott ordered testing for all nursing home residents and staff. Texas began its phase one of reopening on May 1st and in just 12 days the state as seen more than 13,000 additional cases.

The American Health Care Association welcomed the recommendation but said the federal government needed to do more to make that possible, including allocating billions of additional dollars to the effort.

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