Forty-three out of 152 Arkansas nursing homes reporting the most current data had less than 50% COVID-19 vaccination rates among health care staff as of Aug. 1, according to data analyzed and reported by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI).
ACHI also reported that counting previous reports, 71 out of 222 nursing homes, or 32%, did not reach the 50% threshold. An average of 61% of nursing home health care personnel in Arkansas were fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, compared to a national average of 60%.
The health policy advocacy group found that, as of Aug. 1, 27% of the facilities had at least 75% of their health care personnel vaccinated.
ACHI announced Aug. 16 that it had launched a new feature on its website that will track nursing home cases, deaths and vaccination rates. The information is coming from weekly self-reported data by nursing homes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An interim final rule requires nursing homes to self-report their vaccination rates and also to offer vaccines to residents and staff and educate them about the vaccines.
The press release said the online dashboard’s purpose is to help families place their loved ones in nursing homes and target outreach efforts to facilities with low vaccination rates.
Three facilities reported that 100% of their health care personnel were fully vaccinated: Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Little Rock, Highlands of Bella Vista Health and Rehab, and Barrow Creek Health and Rehab in Little Rock. A total of 23 had at least 90% of their health care staff vaccinated. Colonel Glenn Health and Rehab in Little Rock reported that 95% of its residents and 96% of its health care personnel were fully vaccinated as of Aug. 1.
According to a blog post on ACHI’s website, as of Aug. 2 there had been nearly 187,000 COVID deaths at long-term facilities including residents and staff, about a third of all COVID deaths nationwide. Arkansas tracked the national average with 2,035 deaths, which was 34% of its total. Percentages ranged from 3% in Alaska to 66% in New Hampshire.
ACHI reported that few nursing homes in Arkansas are mandating vaccinations for staff members.
Only one Arkansas nursing home, The Waters of West Dixon in Little Rock, reported that less than half of its residents (44%) had been fully vaccinated at any time. The Waters of West Dixon had the fourth lowest percentage of fully vaccinated staff members at 24%. Lawrence Hall Health and Rehabilitation in Walnut Ridge had the lowest at 14%.
Ten Arkansas nursing homes reported that more than half of their infected residents had died. Jamestown Nursing and Rehab in Rogers reported that 114 residents and seven staff members had died with COVID-19.
Following are the other nine nursing homes where more than 50% of infected residents have died.
• The Waters of West Dixon in Little Rock
• Chapel Woods Health and Rehabilitation in Warren
• Dermott City Nursing Home
• Allay Health and Rehab in Little Rock
• The Waters of Newport
• Fianna Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Smith
• Westwood Health and Rehab in Springdale
• Hickory Heights and Rehab in Little Rock
• Lakewood Health and Rehab in Little Rock
The Arkansas Health Care Association announced in June that 78.5% of residents and 58% of staff received the vaccine. The statement did not clarify if the percentages reflected fully vaccinated. The association said the percentage of residents vaccinated were the highest in the region.