CT nursing homes combat omicron, staff shortages | Connecticut News


EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – As COVID-19 cases increase throughout the state nursing home facilities, its workers are gearing up to combat the spread of the omicron variant. 

Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center says that they are prepared for an increase in cases, but the biggest hurdle is staffing.

“Our biggest challenge is just helping people being assured and alleviating people of their fears.” Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center Director of Nursing Lucia Dike said. “Also, we are hurting with staffing. That’s our biggest challenge, is with staffing.”

A concern echoed by Jesse Martin, the Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) district 1199.

She says that this is a universal problem for many nursing facilities across Connecticut. There thousands of nurses needed to meet demand. 

“I have gotten reports as early as today that staffing levels in some facilities are in violation of the state’s staffing codes,” said Martin.

Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center says as they face a staffing shortage, they are too being impacted by the increase COVID-19 cases.

Riverside Health Administrator Rosemary Beaudoin said, ”I think  that we are not shocked by the number of increase COVID-19 cases. And last year… We are used to it and this was once a COVID recovery facility. It’s become a way of life.”

According to the states bi-weekly nursing homes and assisted livings data, for the week of December 8th through the 21st Riverside Health reported 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases in residents and seven confirmed cases in staff with zero deaths.

One visitor, John Hersey, said this about the facilities safety measure, “actually I feel very safe here. And they go in and they have someone right at the front gate and you can’t go anywhere in without having your temp taken and wearing a mask.”

Riverside says that, as of right now, they are still allowing visitors inside and are steadily providing booster opportunities for their residents. 

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