Two years after the pandemic, nursing facilities are still experiencing significant workforce challenges.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation issued in December 2021 allows organizations to bring back medical staff who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 after five days of isolation, even if they’re still symptomatic, and without providing a negative test.
“Even with this revised guidance, we are seeing high levels of staffing shortages that prevent many nursing homes from accepting new patients or assisting overwhelmed hospitals,” the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living said in a statement. “So, while we support the CDC guidance, it’s not enough to stem the tide of this historic labor crisis.”
In Minnesota, 54.2% of facilities reported a shortage in nursing staff during the week of March 13—the highest among states with more than 20 facilities providing data. California reported the lowest with 2.2%.
“The reality is that we are looking for workers that, at the present time, don’t exist,” LeadingAge, an organization that represents not-for-profit aging services providers, said in a statement. “At the end of the day, this is about equity—in access, in quality and in professionalizing our direct care workforce.”