Data released by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) offered the first glimpse of the negative impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on seniors housing and, more specifically, skilled nursing facility (SNF) occupancy.

According to the NIC MAP Data Service for April, the first full month of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States resulted in seniors housing occupancy sliding by a 1.1 percentage point decrease to 88.7 percent, while SNF occupancy was down 2.2 percentage points to 84.7 percent.

The data are featured in NIC’s Intra-Quarterly Snapshot, a new monthly publication developed from NIC MAP data to increase transparency about seniors housing and care during an unprecedented time for the sector, NIC said.

In addition to the latest seniors housing and SNF occupancy data, NIC’s Intra-Quarterly Snapshot shows the percentage change in stabilized occupancy in both property types during the past 13 months, provides key takeaways from NIC’s Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace, and puts the data in context with broader economic indicators, such as national unemployment, consumer sentiment, and the S&P 500.

“Some of the sharp decline in skilled nursing occupancy is likely driven by fewer hospitals discharging patients to post-acute care settings for rehabilitative therapy as hospitals defer elective surgeries due to the pandemic,” Mace said.

She added that the drop in stabilized occupancy identifies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on existing operators without the impact of new competition on market conditions.

NIC said it intends to expand its NIC MAP occupancy data set to include additional metrics, metro-level data, and property type cuts later this summer. Select data will continue to be summarized in NIC’s Intra-Quarterly Snapshot with each data release, they added.