Nursing Home Workers Face Staffing and PPE Shortages as COVID19 Cases Increase Among Staff and Residents

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CMS data and analysis by AARP and the Ohio University Scripps Gerontology Center show that nursing workers and their facilities need additional support with protective equipment and staffing.

Staff Contact: Anthony Caldwell at (877) 419-7348
For Immediate Release: Monday, December 14th, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Data shows persistent shortages of essential PPE items and staffing shortages continue as COVID19 cases increase in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and nationwide.

“According to the Ohio Department of Health, as of December 11th, 30,219 nursing home residents in Ohio have tested positive for COVID19 since April 15th. Additionally, 20,822 nursing home workers have tested positive for the virus in that same period,” said Becky Williams, President of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “As of the latest update from the Ohio Department of Health, 4,689 nursing home residents had COVID19 and 3,082 nursing home staff members had active COVID19,” Williams continued.

Data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is regularly being analyzed by AARP, recently showed the following for the four week period ending on 11/15/20:

• In Ohio, 28.9% of nursing homes did not have a one week supply of all PPE during the 4 week period ending on 11/15/20. During that same time period, 36.6% of nursing homes had a shortage of direct care workers.  
• 
In West Virginia, 35.2% of nursing homes did not have a one week supply of all PPE items during the 4 week period ending on 11/15/20. During that same time, 13.9% of nursing homes had a shortage of direct care workers.  
• 
In Kentucky, 21.8% of nursing homes did not have a one week supply of all PPE items during the 4 week period ending on 11/15/20. During that same time, 28.4% of nursing homes in Kentucky had a shortage of direct care workers.

“While vaccination efforts ramp up, nursing home workers need support, whether that means governmental aide at the national level for the industry as a whole or assistance with protective equipment, hazard pay, and staffing shortages regionally,” said Becky Williams. “Nursing home workers often do not make a living wage for the work that they do and they have been bravely caring for nursing home residents in this crisis,” Williams concluded.

SEIU District 1199, a healthcare and social service union, represents thousands of nursing home workers across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

View the AARP Public Policy Institute COVID19 Nursing Home Dashboard

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