Nursing homes and other long term care facilities have lost a record number of residents and staff to COVID-19 – representing about a quarter of all COVID deaths in this country.
Now, the industry is suffering through a historic staffing shortage, further exacerbated by omicron. Workers have quit in record numbers since the pandemic started. And during the worst of omicron many frontline staff had to stay home because of breakthrough infections.
“Quite frankly, it’s been pretty brutal here,” says Nathan Schema, president and CEO of the Good Samaritan Society, a large non-profit provider of long-term care in the country, with facilities in 23 states. From Washington to Florida and from Maine to California, facilities and staff are struggling.