COVID in long-term care facilities remains manageable despite omicron surge

Long-term care facility
Long-term care facility(KFYR)
Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 2:18 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - As COVID numbers skyrocket in North Dakota, attention is being put on long-term care facilities to see how they’re faring.

As of Thursday, 751 long-term care residents and staff have COVID. 573 of those are staff. The worst numbers experienced so far during the pandemic occurred in November 2020, when there were more than 3,000 cases reported in long-term care facilities. A year ago, about 880 people in long-term care facilities had died from COVID. In the year since, fewer people have died, which officials attribute to the vaccine.

“We’ve seen very few deaths since the emergence of the vaccine. The vaccine has literally saved our lives. Many residents are alive today because of the vaccine. North Dakota is also very proud to have the highest booster rate for nursing homes of any state in the nation, and that is absolutely making a difference,” said Shelly Peterson, ND Long Term Care Association president.

Staffing shortages continue in long-term care facilities. On Monday, the North Dakota Department of Health created new incentives to attract people to work as CNAs and nurse aids. The program will pay them an additional $2,000 dollars to work in long-term care. Visit the Department of Health’s website for information about how to apply.

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