AARP study: S.C. nursing home COVID-19 infection rate worst in the nation.

South Carolina's nursing homes still have the highest resident COVID-19 infection rates of any state in the nation, according to a recent AARP report, despite a dip in staff and resident infections.

Staffing shortages also continue to leave about 20%, or one out of every five, of the state's nursing facilities in a lurch, according to the report.

"One year into the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to see disgracefully high numbers of cases and deaths in South Carolina nursing homes and long-term care facilities," Teresa Arnold, AARP South Carolina state director, said in a news release. "The vaccine rollout gives us hope, but we should not lose sight of the chronic, ongoing problems in our long-term care system that were exposed by COVID."

The study, covering data from Jan. 18 to Feb. 14, showed that COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes doubled over the eight-week span with 1.58 residents per every 100 losing their lives to the virus. Four other states had higher death rates: Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

AARP responded with a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting the need to consider the level of vaccinations in facilities and the adherence to COVID-19...

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