Maintaining appropriate staffing in long-term care facilities is essential to providing a safe work environment for healthcare personnel and resident and patient care, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread, many facilities likely are experiencing staffing shortages due to virus exposures, other illnesses or the need to care for family members at home. 

To help long-term care facilities deal with potential staffing shortages due to COVID-19, HealthCap Risk Management recommends that providers take time up front to identify the number of staff needed to provide a safe work environment and proper resident care, and to work to address factors that might prevent staff from reporting to work, such as housing and transportation. 

The firm also suggests that administrators request that staff members postpone elective time off from work during the pandemic and develop plans to allow asymptomatic employees who have had unprotected exposure to COVID-19 to continue to work. This can include taking steps such as monitoring temperature and the absence of symptoms prior to work, and wearing a face mask while at work for 14 days after exposure.