GILLETTE, Wyo. — Wyoming is the third highest in the nation for nursing home staff shortages as nursing home residents in the region bear the brunt of recent COVID-19 related infections and death, according to the American Association of Retired Persons.
Wyoming has the eighth highest rate of COVID-19 infections in the country reporting 6.2 cases per 100 residents, according to AARP, with 42% of Wyoming nursing homes reporting confirmed cases in their facilities between July and August.
The Cowboy State also ranks number three in the nation for the number of nursing home staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19, AARP says, and Wyoming highest the eighth highest percentage of nursing facilities to report staffing shortages with half of the state’s nursing facilities reporting nurse and aid shortages.
Around 80% of all Wyoming nursing home residents are fully vaccinated and boosted, effectively double the number of nursing home staff to report the same, per AARP.
New Mexico has the highest COVID-19 case rate in the country with 10.4 cases per 100 residents, AARP says, and Alaska reported the highest number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 with .18 deaths per 100 residents.
Alaska also has the highest number of nursing home staff COVID-19 cases with 11.28 cases per 100 residents, according to AARP.
Rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes nationwide rose in July for the third consecutive month, a trend that began after no COVID-19 related deaths were reported in mid-May, AARP says, marking the end of several months of decline from the January peak of the initial Omicron variant wave.
Nationwide, 88% of residents and 89% of health care staff are fully vaccinated with a primary series, or about one in nine staff and one in eight residents, per AARP.
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.