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AARP: Wyoming nursing homes still facing pandemic-era staff shortages


CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s nursing homes are still struggling with serious staffing shortages, according to AARP Wyoming.

According to data compiled by AARP, nearly 63% of the state’s nursing home facilities are reporting staff shortages. Wyoming ranks second highest among states reporting staffing shortages, which nationally is just under 24%. Maine ranks the highest in shortages at just over 66%, while California ranks the lowest in reported shortages at slightly over 2%.

“Wyoming’s nursing home staffing has been impacted by COVID-19 throughout the pandemic,” said AARP Wyoming in its release, “though September’s numbers are much higher than the 50% of facilities reporting a shortage in July and the 58% self-reporting a shortage of nurses and aides in mid-August.”

Other stats in AARP’s updated COVID dashboard show that just 32% of healthcare workers in Wyoming nursing homes are listed as fully vaccinated, which is 10 percentage points below the national average.

“Nationally, AARP’s COVID Dashboard shows that COVID-19 vaccination rates and booster rates have stalled,” said the release, “and nearly half of residents and more than half of staff are not up to date with their shots.”

Though death cases have decreased overall, COVID-19 transmission in nursing homes remains elevated.

“Deaths are still 3 times as high as the rate in the four weeks ending 4/17, and resident and staff cases are more than 6 times as high as that period, before the recent four-month surge,” said the release. “The rate of resident cases is 20 times as high and the rate of staff cases is 14 times as high as in Summer 2021 before the Delta wave.”

AARP’s COVID-19 dashboard map can be seen here.

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.