New COVID-19 Variants Found in Kentucky Skilled Nursing Facility

A new variant of COVID-19 has been found in residents of a Kentucky nursing home. The variant has infected vaccinated and unvaccinated residents alike. In an article published in McKnight’s, it is stated that providers must continue to closely monitor outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

The new variant affected 14 staff members and 27 residents out of which five had to be hospitalized. At the particular nursing home, it was reported that 48% of staff and 85% of residents had been vaccinated before the outbreak occurred. Out of all infected 30% were vaccinated and experienced symptoms. Of those that were not vaccinated 83% showed symptoms.

State Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack claimed that vaccinations “reduced the risk of serious infection and hospitalization.” Vaccinated residents did not become seriously ill compared to unvaccinated residents.

The coronavirus has mutated several times since it’s first discovery. The most recent variant arose in Britain and is known as B.1.1.7 and is now spreading in the U.S. Additionally, two new variants of the virus have been identified (B.1427 and B.1429) in California by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These variants are 20% more transmissible.

After the new outbreak in Kentucky, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) has stated the importance of vaccinations and claim them to be the “best hope” for ending the pandemic.

Kentucky is allowing indoor visitations as of March 11th and group dining as of March 10th. It is critical for staff and residents to exercise all safety protocols including masks and social distancing  to prevent additional outbreaks.

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