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In February 2020, the US outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began with a cluster of cases at a long-term care (LTC) facility in Washington State. Since then, 34 of the 40 states with available data report that at least 40% of COVID-19-related deaths in those states have occurred in LTC facilities,1 which provide ideal conditions for rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although the populations in these facilities bear a significant burden of the pandemic, mathematical models that contribute to US national or state policy do not account for residents of LTC facilities separately from surrounding populations in their calculations.2 This Viewpoint explores why it is important to separate projections for residents of LTC facilities and the general population.
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Corresponding Author: Karl Pillemer, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Cornell University, 1300 York Ave, New York, NY 10065 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: June 5, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.9540
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Pillemer reports receipt of grants from the National Institutes of Health and personal fees (speaking honoraria) and grants from the American Seniors Housing Association outside the submitted work. Dr Hupert reports providing unpaid consultation services (related to novel coronavirus 2019 modeling) to the Greater New York Hospital Association outside the submitted work. Dr Subramanian reports being a consultant for the World Bank and being the cofounder of Entrupy Inc, Gaius Networks Inc, and Velai LLC. No other disclosures were reported.
Additional Contributions: We acknowledge the contributions of Srikanth Jagabathula, PhD, Mark S. Lachs, MD, MPH, Beth Simone Noveck, PhD, Anthony E. Rosen, MD, MPH, and Monika M. Safford, MD, to this article. None of these individuals received compensation for their contributions to this article.
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