Summit County nursing home task force seeks to improve conditions amid coronavirus pandemic

Staffing shortages in long-term care facilities were already an issue before the coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year.

Now, the facilities have become hotbeds for infections and deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, as their residents — older adults and those with underlying conditions — are particularly susceptible.

Matthew Pool, administrator of Wayside Farm Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Cuyahoga Falls, said there are employees in the long-term care industry who have refused to work because of fear of the virus.

“We were talking about staffing issues well before COVID came into play,” said Pool, whose facility has not had any confirmed coronavirus cases among staff or residents.

Along with the health, safety and staffing concerns, Pool said logistics and media coverage also have been a challenge.

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