‘Tragic’: South Carolina nursing homes have highest COVID death rate in country, AARP says

State - Regional

FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. The Trump administration’s plan to provide every nursing home with a fast COVID-19 testing machine comes with an asterisk: the government won’t supply enough test kits to check staff and residents beyond an initial couple of rounds. A program that sounded like a game changer when it was announced last month at the White House is now prompting concerns that it could turn into another unfulfilled promise for nursing homes, whose residents and staff account for as many as 4 in 10 coronavirus deaths. Administration officials respond that nursing homes can pay for ongoing testing from a $5-billion federal allocation available to them. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – The death rate for COVID-19 in South Carolina nursing homes is more than double the national rate, according to a new study of government data by AARP

The analysis found South Carolina’s rate, 1.2 coronavirus deaths per 100 residents between late August and late September, was the highest in the United States. 172 nursing home residents in the state died of COVID-19 during that period, AARP said. 

In a post to South Carolina’s AARP website, state director Teresa Arnold called the findings “tragic” and “a startling wake-up call for us.” 

The organization would investigate what’s causing the high number, the post said. 

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