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The pandemic had a brutal effect in nursing homes. Mortality levels jumped from 17% in 2019 to 22.5% in 2020—nearly a one-third increase—according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. “This 32% increase amounts to 169,291 more deaths in 2020 than if the mortality rate had remained the same as in 2019,” the report said.

The data was based solely on Medicare claims, as nursing homes weren’t required to report Covid-19 cases and deaths before May 8, 2020, and so the number of deaths in nursing homes was likely higher.

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