Wyoming Nursing Homes Have Second Highest Staff Shortage Rate
According to the Wyoming AARP's nursing home data, 62.9% of Wyoming nursing home facilities are experiencing a staff shortage, the second-highest in the nation.
The national average for staffing shortages is 23.9%, while California has the lowest at 2.1% and Maine has the highest at 66.2%.
Shortages in Wyoming have fluctuated over the past year, going between a high of 70% in February, down to a low of 50% in July, and several numbers in between.
While two facilities in Casper, Shepherd of the Valley Rehabilitation and Wellness and the Casper Mountain Rehabilitation and Care Center both said they are not experiencing staffing shortages, the Wind River Rehabilitation and Wellness in Riverton and the Westward Heights Care Center in Lander said they are dealing with it.
The facility in Riverton said that they, like many other hospitals across the country, have had issues with not enough people wanting to work as nurses, while the facility in Lander said that while they are able to handle things with the staff they have available, they currently do need some help with housekeeping.
When it comes to vaccinations, residents at nursing homes are above the national average for those fully vaccinated, 89.1% compared to 87.2%, vaccinated with one booster, 80.7% compared to 75.2%, and vaccinated with two boosters, 48% compared to 40.6%.
Wyoming’s healthcare staff, however, is lower, with 80.1% of staff fully vaccinated, compared to the national average of 88.8%, and when it comes to staff with boosters, 43.9% of those in Wyoming have them, compared to 52.3% nationally.
For nursing homes in general, 66.7% of those in Wyoming have at least 75% of their staff vaccinated, compared to the national average of 83.9% and only 2.3% of nursing homes have at least 75% of its staff fully updated on COVID-19 vaccines.
Since the pandemic began in Wyoming, there have been 293 deaths among nursing home residents due to COVID-19, or 16% of all of the state's COVID-19 deaths, while only 11 staff at nursing homes have died due to COVID-19.
In the state as a whole, there have been 1,906 deaths in total, and since June there have been 86 deaths in Wyoming due to COVID-19, while vaccination-wise, 52% of the state population is fully vaccinated and 59.4% has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.