State social distancing restrictions and nursing home outcomes

Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 20;12(1):1058. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05011-6.


The COVID-19 poses a disproportionate threat to nursing home residents. Although recent studies suggested the effectiveness of state social distancing measures in the United States on curbing COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among the general population, there is a lack of evidence as to how these state orders may have affected nursing home patients or what potential negative health consequences they may have had. In this longitudinal study, we evaluated changes in state strength of social distancing restrictions from June to August of 2020, and their associations with the weekly numbers of new COVID-19 cases, new COVID-19 deaths, and new non-COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes of the US. We found that stronger state social distancing measures were associated with improved COVID-19 outcomes (case and death rates), reduced across-facility disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, and somewhat increased non-COVID-19 death rate, although the estimates for non-COVID-19 deaths were sensitive to alternative model specifications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / mortality
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Physical Distancing*
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • United States / epidemiology