Wyoming will put $10 million of federal pandemic relief dollars toward staffing nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
COVID-19 has continually spread through these locations, with the Wyoming Department of Health announcing Monday that 87 residents of long-term care facilities have now died from the virus.
The $10 million will be used to hire traveling nurses and nursing aides to facilities in need of staff, according to a release published Friday by Gov. Mark Gordon’s office. Eighty-eight such personnel have been hired for temporary contracts at Wyoming long-term care facilities, with more likely on the way. Friday’s data update was an increase of 24 deaths since the Wyoming Department of Health published new numbers Nov. 19. Nine locations reported COVID-19 cases Friday for the first time in the last two weeks, representing nearly 24% of all long-term care facilities that have reported cases since the pandemic emerged. The coronavirus has infected more than 1,300 staff and residents at 38 facilities statewide since the pandemic began.
Casper’s nursing homes have shouldered much of that burden. Two local care centers account for the highest death tolls of any facility in the state: Shepherd of the Valley Rehabilitation and Wellness, which has lost 24 residents to the deadly virus, and Casper Mountain Rehabilitation and Care Center, which has lost 13 residents, according to state data.
At the New Horizons Care Center in Lovell, there have been 39 total cases among residents since the beginning of the pandemic, with 10 deaths and 29 recoveries. Additionally, 50 staff members have tested positive, with three out with illness and two people on quarantine for exposures as of Tuesday morning.