Staffing at Some Nursing Homes Plummeted During Early Covid-19 Outbreaks

Newly released federal data show some hard-hit facilities were strapped for health care workers when needed most

Nearly 100 people died during the height of the coronavirus outbreak at the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in New Jersey in April, more than 10 times the number in a typical month. Photo: Shari Davis/Julie Diaz

The ranks of caregivers at dozens of nursing homes plunged to dangerously low levels on some of the deadliest days of the pandemic, undercutting care for vulnerable residents at these facilities, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of new federal data.

The Journal found that as the novel coronavirus tore through states like New Jersey and New York in April, as many as 127 hard-hit nursing homes on a single day had nurse-staffing levels that fell at least 25% below their levels for the comparable days in 2019, a sign...

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