Harvard researcher finds 16,000 nursing home COVID-19 deaths unreported in US

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 16,000 COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the United States were unreported during the early months of the pandemic, a report led by Harvard researcher Karen Shen has shown.

The Life Care Center nursing home where some patients have died from COVID-19 is pictured in Kirkland, Washington on March 5, 2020.

The report, published in the JAMA Network Open on Thursday, found the missing numbers take up 14 percent of all nursing home deaths in 2020.

By studying data across 20 states, the study found that 44 percent of all COVID-19 cases and 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes counted by states health departments were unaccounted for in the federal data.

"This may demonstrate a widespread inability of nursing homes to reliably collect data early in the pandemic or that pressures to report fewer cases and deaths were common to all facilities," the researchers wrote.