News Release

Over 200 Nursing-Home Staff Deaths Reported in Recent Weeks


In the last nine weeks, more than 200 nursing-home staff have died of Covid-19––over three deaths per day on average, despite 41 percent being up to date on their vaccines. Investigative reporter Walker Bragman spoke to the Institute for Public Accuracy about the numbers.

    Bragman is a journalist and cofounder of OptOut, a nonprofit news aggregation app for independent media. 

Bragman told IPA: “Nursing homes are still one of the big areas of focus. It’s clear that there are large numbers of vulnerable people in nursing homes, so if you want to see how Covid is doing, nursing homes are sort of the canary in the coal mine.

“With Alex Kotch, I run a media aggregation app called OptOut, and we haven’t come across a lot of stories about this. But it is still a huge story––one of the biggest money in politics stories out there. If you look at the original OSHA draft of recommended guidelines for workplaces, it says: ‘Covid poses a grave danger in every workplace.’ That’s still undeniably true. There’s no workplace that is unaffected by Covid. Every workplace in America needs to have ventilation standards, period. Long term, we need [improvements in] air quality in every workplace.”

But Bragman notes that the new OSHA standards are limited to medical facilities, leaving out other kinds of workplaces that are still high-risk.

Bragman argues that these workers “deserve very clear warning of the high death rate, and additional workplace safety measures and hazard pay to match.”

Julia Raifman, a Boston University professor who researches how health and social policies shape population health and health disparities, wrote that the numbers speak to a “need to improve booster delivery to essential workers with high exposure and to implement booster requirements.”