Omicron puts new stress on nursing homes and long-term care facilities
The American Health Care Association issued an update Wednesday on the omicron variant’s impact on the 14,000 nursing homes and long-term care facilities it represents across the country. From Dec. 19 to Jan. 9, cases increased from 4,000 to 32,000 among residents and from 6,000 to 57,000 among staff.
The following day, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal vaccine mandate for health-care workers, the AHCA issued another statement, calling for leniency and for a regular testing option for unvaccinated staff members.
“Caregivers in vaccine hesitant communities may walk off the job because of this policy, further threatening access to care for thousands of our nation’s seniors,” wrote Mark Parkinson, president of the AHCA and National Center for Assisted Living, who said that 83 percent of staff are now fully vaccinated.