The Biden Administration will provide $500 million to the nursing home industry. The initiative will send strike teams to nursing homes to help with infection control and prevention efforts, and address staffing shortages. The strike team program will be a partnership between providers and inspectors that reduces the spread of infections at facilities.
CMS reported nursing home staff vaccination rates increased by ten percentage points – from 62% to 72%. CMS requires that nursing home provide a safe environment by requiring caregivers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4. Companies with more than 100 employees will also be mandated to require COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers or do regular testing by Jan. 4. CMS said:
“Unvaccinated staff pose both a direct and indirect threat to the very patients that they serve”, adding that the new requirement “presents an opportunity to continue driving down COVID-19 infections, stabilize the nation’s healthcare system, and ensure safety for anyone seeking care.”
The regulation covers all healthcare facility employees, regardless of whether they have a clinical role. It allows for exemptions for medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances or practices. However, a fully vaccinated workplace increases safety for residents and staff.
Jobless claims dropped to a low since the start of the pandemic. 75% lower than they were when Biden took office. About 2.1 million Americans collected unemployment insurance last week, down from 7.1 million a year ago when Biden won the election.