Wyoming Nursing Homes See Increased Staff Shortages
Nursing home staff shortages have increased in Wyoming since June 2021, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
The percentage of nursing home facilities with a shortage of nurses or aides have increased from 35% in June, up 54% in September, to 65% in November, and 73.5% in mid-December.
Nationally, the number of staffing shortages in nursing homes has increased from around 23% in June to 30% in December.
Just over 90% of Wyoming’s nursing home residents are fully vaccinated, not far from Maine, which has the nation’s highest percentage of nursing home residents vaccinated at 92.5%.
When it comes to being fully vaccinated with a booster shot, 63% of Wyoming's nursing home residents had gotten all three shots by December, making it the 14th highest in the country.
From that same period, 17.8% of Wyoming’s health care staff were fully vaccinated with a booster, which is the 16th lowest in the country.
Of the 36 nursing homes tracked by the AARP, 20 of them have a staff vaccination rate below 75%, 14 are above 75%, and two have no data.
While some, like the South Lincoln Nursing Center, are just below at 74.4%, others are much lower, like the Cody Regional Health Long Term Care Center at 57.5%, or the Douglas Care Center, LLC with the lowest staff vaccination rate of 32.5%.
COVID-19 cases in Wyoming’s nursing home residents were relatively low in December at .33 cases per 100, while the national average during that same period was 1.53.
Wyoming’s percentage of nursing home deaths per 100 residents due to COVID-19 was .11 ending on Dec. 19, while Michigan had the nation’s highest rate at .61, compared to the national average of .15.
COVID-19 cases in Wyoming have been increasing a large amount in the past month, going from 106 cases on Dec. 17, up to 995 on Jan. 6, to an all-time high of 4,085 cases on Jan 18, and down to 2,504 on Jan 24.
AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway said:
"There are now more COVID-19 cases in nursing homes than ever before, and deaths are rising as well."