Sobering US nursing home death report as lockdowns ease


WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 1 / 4 of the COVID-19 deaths within the United States had been amongst nursing dwelling residents, a brand new report mentioned, a disclosure that got here as coronavirus restrictions eased Monday whilst U.S. protests in opposition to police brutality sparked fears of latest outbreaks.

The Florida Keys welcomed guests for the primary time in two months, the Colosseum opened its historical doorways in Rome, ferries restarted in Bangladesh and golfers performed in Greece. But as vacationer locations worldwide reopened for enterprise, new guidelines had been in place to protect in opposition to the virus’ unfold.

“Bring facial coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer, reef-safe sunscreen and personal essential medicines. If you’re feeling unwell, please stay home,” the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, which incorporates the tourist-dependent Keys, mentioned on its web site.

Electronic indicators warned vacationers to 2 of the world’s largest casinos about COVID-19 on the primary day they partially reopened over Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s objections. “Avoid Large Crowds, Don’t Gamble With COVID,” flashed the indicators close to Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun as vehicles — many with Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York license plates — handed by.

Meanwhile, the scope of the devastation within the nation’s nursing houses grew to become clearer in a report ready for U.S. governors that mentioned almost 26,000 nursing dwelling residents have died from COVID-19 — a quantity that’s partial and prone to go larger.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 60,000 instances of coronavirus sickness amongst nursing dwelling residents, in response to a duplicate of a letter addressed to the governors and an accompanying chart offered to The Associated Press.

The knowledge was based mostly on stories acquired from about 80% of the nation’s 15,400 nursing houses as of May 24. But some states with excessive charges of nursing dwelling deaths appeared to have low ranges of response to the survey, supposed as a primary step towards growing coverage adjustments.

“This data, and anecdotal reports across the country, clearly show that nursing homes have been devastated by the virus,” wrote CDC Director Robert Redfield and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The U.S. has seen over 104,000 deaths and almost 1.eight million infections within the pandemic, each rely’s the best on the planet.

And though the primary wave of the pandemic could also be easing in a lot of the U.S., that doesn’t imply nursing houses are in any much less hazard: Experts say in a virus rebound they’ll once more turn out to be the stage for tragic scenes of demise and despair, in addition to a threat for the broader group.

“What is going on in a nursing home can be a barometer for where the virus is,” mentioned Tamara Konetzka, a analysis professor on the University of Chicago, who makes a speciality of long-term care points.

Roadblocks had been taken down shortly after midnight close to Key Largo, the northernmost island within the Florida chain, the place virtually half of all staff are employed by motels, bars and different hospitality industries, and lots of the relaxation are concerned in industrial and sport fishing.

But even because the Keys reopened, Miami-Dade County saved its seashores closed due to protests in South Florida and throughout the nation over the May 25 demise of George Floyd, a black man pinned on the neck by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Richard Stanczyk, proprietor of Bud N’ Mary’s marina in Islamorada, mentioned the 76-year-old enterprise’ fishing boats have had just about no prospects for weeks and welcomed the reopening.

“There has been a real uptick in phone calls. There have been more charter bookings,” Stanczyk mentioned. “We are encouraged. It’s going to come back.”

Countries across the Mediterranean Sea additionally tentatively kicked off a summer time season the place vacationers may bask of their seashores with distancing measures in place.

“We are reopening a symbol. A symbol of Rome, a symbol for Italy,” mentioned Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum’s archaeological park. “(We are) restarting in a positive way, with a different pace, with a more sustainable tourism.”

Greece lifted lockdown measures for motels, campsites, open-air cinemas, golf programs and public swimming swimming pools, whereas b eaches and museums reopened in Turkey and bars, eating places, cinemas and museums got here again to life within the Netherlands.

“Today, we opened two rooms and tomorrow three. It’s like building an anthill,” Athens lodge proprietor Panos Betis mentioned as staff sporting face masks cleaned a rooftop restaurant and a window dealing with the traditional Acropolis. “Our aim now is to hang in there until 2021.”

A protracted line of masked guests snaked exterior the Vatican Museums, which embody the Sistine Chapel, as they reopened for the primary time in three months.

The Vatican Museums’ well-known key holder — who holds the keys to all of the galleries on an enormous ring on his wrist — opened the gate in an indication each symbolic and literal that the Museums had been again in enterprise. Still, strict crowd management measures had been in place: Visitors wanted reservations, their temperatures had been taken earlier than coming into and masks had been obligatory.

The Dutch leisure of coronavirus guidelines passed off on a serious vacation with the solar blazing, elevating fears of overcrowding in fashionable seashore resorts. The new guidelines allowed bars and eating places to serve as much as 30 individuals inside in the event that they preserve social distancing, however there was no standing at bars and reservations had been vital.

Britain, which has the world’s second-worst demise toll, eased restrictions regardless of warnings from well being officers that the danger of spreading COVID-19 was nonetheless too nice. Some elementary faculty courses reopened and other people may have restricted contact with household and mates, however solely open air and with social distancing.

Around 6.19 million infections have been reported worldwide, with over 372,000 individuals dying, in response to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The true demise toll is believed to be considerably larger, since many died with out ever being examined.

In the U.S., the often-violent protests over Floyd’s demise raised fears of latest outbreaks in a rustic the place the pandemic has disproportionately affected racial minorities.

Protests have shaken cities from New York to Los Angeles, with d emonstrators packed cheek by jowl, many with out masks, shouting or singing. The virus is unfold by microscopic droplets within the air when individuals cough, sneeze, speak or sing.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed concern the protests in New York City may imperil the lengthy, arduous battle to include the pandemic in a worldwide sizzling spot.

“You turn on the TV and you see these mass gatherings that could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people after everything that we have done,” Cuomo mentioned. “We have to take a minute and ask ourselves: ’What are we doing here?”


Anderson reported from St. Petersburg, Florida. Reporters from around the globe contributed to this report.


Follow AP pandemic protection at and