UPDATED 2:55 PM PT — Sunday, June 21, 2020
Despite the ongoing pandemic, which has hit understaffed nursing homes particularly hard, many caregivers have chosen unemployment checks over paychecks.
According to reports, a nurse in New England said she had to stop working two months ago in order to take care of her children. However, she is now getting paid an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits.
Consequently, many health care workers have chosen to stay home, despite this being a time when nursing homes need them most.
“People in nursing homes represent about 1% of the American population…(and) about 40% of the deaths from coronavirus, so this has just been a really tremendous death toll,” stated AARP spokesperson Bill Sweeney. “It’s outrageous, it’s continuing and more needs to be done to stop the deaths.”
Before the pandemic, nurse staffing agencies such as IntelyCare were lucky to fill 80% of staff; now they’re lucky to fill 50%.
Meanwhile, Congress has been debating whether or not to extend the extra $600 in benefits beyond the end of July.