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Data Deep Dive: COVID-19 death rates are highest in long-term care facilities

The older population and those with pre-existing conditions make long-term care facilities particularly vulnerable to the virus.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky and Indiana are seeing disproportional COVID-19 related deaths connected to long-term care facilities. Kentucky’s governor calls them “danger zones.” FOCUS is breaking down death trends in both states.

Here is a look at deaths in Kentucky from March through July 23. The orange bars show deaths.

Credit: FOCUS
KY death trends July 23, 2020

Daily reported deaths were declining from the highs in May, but at the far right, the trend is tilting up.

Two thirds of COVID-19 deaths in Kentucky are connected to long-term care facilities.

Credit: FOCUS
KY death trends July 23, 2020

Kentucky’s State Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the committee combing through death certificates decided that some deaths were improperly labeled as COVOID-19 related. It is not clear how many or which cases will be removed.

In Indiana, the trend declines as it moves to the right, but in recent weeks, it seems to have stalled. The dark blue dotted line shows deaths connected to long-term care facilities, and the orange bars shows all other deaths.

Credit: FOCUS
IN death trends July 23, 2020

Nearly half of Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths are connected to long-term care facilities.

The older population and those with pre-existing conditions make long-term care facilities particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Credit: FOCUS
IN death trends July 23, 2020

According to experts, case trends usually foreshadow deaths trends, but it can take weeks to see the impact. Since cases have increased, we could see increased deaths follow.

FOCUS will continue to track the trends.

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