Skip to Content

Lack of Staff, PPE Hinder Nursing Homes' Fight Against COVID-19

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2021 -- Staff shortages and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) are among the reasons why U.S. nursing homes have been so severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

In a new report, the group said that about one-fifth of nursing homes -- more than 3,000 -- did not have enough doctors, nursing aides, and other health care staff during December, CBS News reported. Many nursing home workers contracted COVID-19, forcing them to take time off. Remaining staff members had to fill the gaps and interact with more residents at once, leading to more outbreaks, the report said.

Although worker turnover in the nursing home industry has always been high, the pandemic has worsened the problem. Some clinical care staffers, overwhelmed by the stress and fear of catching COVID-19, have left the field altogether, CBS News reported. At the same time, other nursing home professionals, many of them women with young children, had to quit their jobs to help their children with remote schooling, and other workers found themselves taking time off to care for loved ones at home who had contracted the virus, according to the report.

In a separate report, the group said insufficient supplies of PPE have been another problem for nursing homes during the pandemic, with 8 percent not having enough surgical-grade N95 masks in December, CBS News reported. PPE supply levels improved during the fall but worsened again in December as demand spiked, in part because health care workers administering COVID-19 vaccines are required to wear masks and other protective gear.

CBS News Article

More Information: U.S. PIRG

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2021

Read this next

Response to One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Strong for Previously Infected

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- Individuals with previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection generate strong responses to one dose of the BNT162b2...

Only Two in 10 Older Adults Report Being Screened for Hearing Loss

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- Eight in 10 older adults say they have not been screened for hearing loss in primary care within the last two years, according to a report published...

​IL-6 Receptor Antagonists Benefit Critically Ill With COVID-19​

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- Treatment with interleukin-6 receptor antagonists tocilizumab and sarilumab improves outcomes among critically ill patients with COVID-19 receiving organ...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of in your inbox.