Nursing Homes Confront New Covid Outbreaks Amid Calls for Staff Vaccination Mandates

Staff immunization has been a problem in lots of states, particularly because the extremely contagious Delta variant races by areas with low vaccination charges. On Monday, one of many nation’s largest nursing-home operators, Genesis HealthCare, said it will mandate vaccines for staff by Aug. 23, noting “while we would have greatly preferred a strictly voluntary process, our commitment to health and safety outweighs concerns about imposing a requirement.”

Some states and cities, not ready for the nursing residence trade, are imposing their very own mandates for vaccinations on long-term care workers or operators could face penalties or further testing necessities for unvaccinated workers. Massachusetts on Wednesday said all nursing-home workers have to be totally vaccinated by Oct. 1, whereas California final week mentioned well being care employees have to be immunized or be examined weekly for Covid.

San Francisco and Denver have every introduced a vaccine mandate for employees in excessive threat settings, together with nursing properties.

New outbreaks in some states, together with Florida, Colorado, Indiana and Louisiana, have pressured some properties to as soon as once more restrict guests and impose different restrictions. The C.D.C. mentioned on Friday that it was monitoring the Delta variant’s infections in nursing properties to see if “additional measures are needed.”

“The bottom line is the vaccine is the No. 1, 2 and 3 thing we have to fight this pandemic, everywhere, but especially in nursing homes,” mentioned Dr. Michael Wasserman, a geriatrician and former president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, who has reluctantly come to imagine mandates are crucial.

So far, the nursing residence trade has stopped wanting endorsing a vaccination mandate, whilst main medical organizations have signed onto calls for the requirement amongst well being care employees, and as more hospitals are requiring the vaccine for workers.

Last week, the American Health Care Association, the nursing residence trade’s fundamental commerce group, as an alternative mentioned it supported continued efforts to coach employees.

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