Health

Nursing homes still understaffed

Two years post-pandemic, nursing homes continue to face severe staffing challenges.

A December 2021 recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows organizations to return medical staff who test positive for COVID-19 after five days of isolation, even if they still have symptoms, and without providing a negative test.

“Even with this revised guidance, we are seeing a high level of staffing shortages that are preventing many nursing homes from accepting new patients or providing care to overburdened hospitals,” the American Health Association/National Living Assistance Center said in a statement. “So while we support CDC leadership, it’s not enough to stem the tide of this historic labor crisis.”

In Minnesota, 54.2% of health facilities reported a shortage of medical staff during the week of March 13, the highest among states with more than 20 health facilities reporting data. California reported the lowest with 2.2%.

“The reality is that we are looking for workers that do not currently exist,” LeadingAge, an organization that represents non-profit aging service providers, said in a statement. “At the end of the day, it’s about equality – in the access, quality and professionalism of our direct assistance workforce.”

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