Long term care facilities are combating staffing shortages with nearly 3,000 active cases in those most-vulnerable communities.
"I've worked here for 15 years, I come back because I care about these people they're my family" says Red Banks employee Whitney Beals.
Healthcare workers are anguished over a COVID-19 surge in long term nursing facilities that care for our most vulnerable neighbors. Recently, nursing homes across the nation saw a record 12,000 new weekly cases of COVID-19.
"In long term care, right now some people might think it is all doom and gloom because of the struggles we've had with the COVID outbreaks" says Red Banks Administrator Shari Newton. Newton went on to tell our news crew nothing inside the facility has changed. Even though the outside world isn't allowed in right now, there are still smiling faces all throughout the facility.
All of Red Banks residents are currently COVID-19 free. Tthe facility currently has two employees in quarantine after being exposed in the community outside of the workplace.
Beals says she loves her job thats why she continues to come back, "Well for one, i have kids at home that i have to take care of, i don't have the option to not work, there are people here who's lives depend on us taking care of them"
According to Gov. Andy Beshear, more than 1,300 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kentucky in the last few weeks alone.
Since March, 8,300 healthcare works have contracted the virus.
"In long term care we are the same as any other healthcare company, we are a revolving door at times, we hire people and people decide they want to make a change" Newton went on to say.
Nursing home cases jumped 120% in the region since mid-September according to the American Healthcare Association.
Like many long term care centers, nurses are needed the most, right now, Red Banks Skilled Nursing Facility is now taking applications for CNA classes, partly online, the training paid. The idea is to retain employees while the future is uncertain.
"Its really important to me, and really touches my heart that I can come in and make someone smile, if they cant see their family, I can tell them how much I care about them, and do things for them they need help with everyday"
Good news there are still spots open in the CNA training class. The class starts December 16.
To learn more about Red Banks CNA class click here: https://www.redbanks.org/about-us/employment-opportunities/