Nursing home residents throughout the U.S. have disproportionately suffered from the effects of COVID-19, accounting for nearly 40% of COVID-related deaths. Researchers from Yale University and UCLA combined anonymous cell phone mobility and GPS data to uncover previously unmeasured staff connections between nursing homes that could be a contributing factor to the spread of diseases like Covid-19. The Tobin Center at Yale University partnered with U.S. Digital Response to create a user-friendly, interactive tool to rapidly get this research into the hands of public health officials and nursing home decision-makers to help reduce the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 and better protect these vulnerable facilities.
Translate complex research into an easy-to-understand, actionable tool
Respond to emerging outbreaks and better understand infection risk moving forward
ProtectNursingHomes.org allows users to see how many nursing homes in a given area have a high level of connectivity to other nursing homes. Facilities with high connectivity present the greater risk of spreading and infection than those with fewer connections. They are also at greater risk for receiving inbound infection.
Empower public health professionals and nursing home advocates to use the research data to save lives
The data presented on ProtectNursingHomes.org allows public health officials and nursing home decision-makers to:
- Activate an early warning system to let connected nursing homes know when there is an outbreak in a home with shared staff
- Identify hyper-connected homes where levels of connectivity risk may justify elevated monitoring and protective measures
- Prepare for future outbreaks by developing informed staffing plans and guidelines for workers visiting multiples sites
Note: The researchers’ source of anonymous cell phone data represents about 30% of all U.S. cell phones. So while it does not capture all connectivity, it does provide a representative picture of nursing home connectedness. We are unable to identify any individuals based on this data and did not examine travel to any locations besides nursing homes.
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USDR is available to provide pro bono assistance to help guide your COVID-19 response efforts. ProtectNursingHomes.org is only one part of USDR’s dedicated health program to help state and local governments meet the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis. Using our existing rapid response model to deliver fast and free support, USDR’s health program assists with COVID-19 testing, exposure notifications apps, public health communications strategies, vaccine distribution, and more. See here for a full menu of USDR’s health-focused offerings.