Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nursing facilities and the impact of their clusters in a Japanese core city

J Infect Chemother. 2022 Jul;28(7):955-961. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2022.04.010. Epub 2022 Apr 13.


Introduction: Nursing facilities are vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the congregate nature of their housing, the older age of the residents, and the variety of their geriatric chronic conditions. Little is known about the impact of nursing facility COVID-19 on the local health system.

Methods: We collected data of COVID-19 cases in Nagasaki city from April 15, 2020 to June 30, 2021. We performed universal screening of the healthcare workers (HCWs) and the users of nursing facilities, once the first case of COVID-19 was detected within that facility. The community-dwelling people received testing if they had symptoms or if they were suspected of having close contact with the positive cases. The epidemiological survey for each COVID-19 case was performed by the public health officers of the local public health center.

Results: Out of 111,773 community-dwelling older adults (age ≥ 65 years) and 20,668 nursing facility users in Nagasaki city, we identified 358 and 71 COVID-19 cases, and 33 and 12 COVID-19 deaths, respectively, during the study period. The incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for COVID-19 and its deaths among the nursing facility users were 1.07 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.82-1.39) and 1.97 (95%CI, 0.92-3.91) compared with the community-dwelling older adults. Four clusters, which had more than 10 COVID-19 cases, accounted for 60% (65/109) of the overall cases by the HCWs and the users.

Conclusions: The prevention of COVID-19 clusters is important to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among the nursing facility population.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Long-term care; Nursing homes; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2