Coronavirus cases among the elderly in nursing homes in Europe have made up a significant portion of cases. Research coming out of the UK has shown that delayed efforts and revised policies played a role in the significant spread in nursing homes.

When the coronavirus first started moving toward Europe and the United Kingdom in late February, the original recommendations to elder care and nursing homes was that they were “very unlikely” to be infected. This early instruction led to 594 cases in the UK and while the revised guidance was released mid-March, the virus had already hit elder or care homes.

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As of May 1, in England and Wales, 38% of confirmed coronavirus deaths were residents in home care or elderly facilities. This equals 12,526 cases according to the Office of National Statistics.

London School of Economics (LSE) researchers found that In France, Belgium, Ireland, and Norway, over 50% of total deaths related to coronavirus cases were care home residents. In Norway, they accounted for 58% of deaths.

“France, Spain, and Italy were overwhelmed by the virus very quickly. They were the first countries in Europe to have these problems on a big scale. And I think they offered a lot of lessons that ideally could have been learned in other European countries,” said lead LSE researcher Adelina Comas-Herrera.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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