NC Leads South East in Nursing Home COVID Deaths

A woman sitting in a wheelchair in her nursing home room

RALEIGH – We highlighted a report Wednesday that shows over 60 percent of North Carolina’s COVID-19 deaths have come from nursing homes, raising serious questions about our blanket approach to lockdown. It turns out that our state is the highest in the South East, and the Carolina Partnership for Reform is calling out the Cooper administration for a failure to enforce nursing home safety.


“Sadly, Governor Cooper’s NCDHHS bureaucrats appear to be incompetent when it comes to enforcing nursing home safety. According to the New York Times, NC has the worst Covid-19 death rate for nursing home residents and workers in the Southeast.

According to the report, 57% of state deaths in North Carolina have come from nursing home residents or workers.

Covid-19 is described in the article as being “particularly lethal to older adults with underlying health conditions, and can spread more easily through congregate facilities, where many people live in a confined environment and workers move from room to room.” Lacking comprehensive data from the federal government, the New York Times put together its own database of “coronavirus cases and deaths at facilities including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, memory care facilities, retirement and senior communities and rehabilitation facilities.”

Why are other Southeastern states’ rate of COVID-19 nursing home deaths better than North Carolina? 

Whatever the answer, Governor Cooper gave us a double blow – allowing COVID-19 to run rampant through the most vulnerable in nursing homes, while shutting down our economy and devastating the livelihoods of countless other North Carolinians.”

Needless to say, shutting down the economy did nothing to mitigate the threat to infirm populations in congregate care facilities. It did however hurt nearly everyone else, and created it’s own set of negative health outcomes.

We’re not sure what the explanation for North Carolina’s higher rate of nursing home deaths is, or if any magic bullet could have prevented it, but our confidence is high that the authoritarian one-size-fits-none approach Cooper adopted did little to help and much to hurt.

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