Just 14% of Mississippi’s nursing homes have completed specialty COVID-19 training offered by the federal government to help squash transmission in their facilities.
Twenty-nine out of Mississippi’s 211 nursing homes have taken advantage of the free training as of early November — training at least 50% of their staff in COVID-19 infection control and vaccine distribution — according to new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which regulates nursing homes.
Nationally about the same percent of all nursing homes have completed the training, so Mississippi is not alone in not ensuring all facilities have sought out and completed the training.
“We’ve provided nursing homes with $20 billion in federal funding, millions of pieces of PPE, free testing machines and supplies, and significant technical assistance and on-the-ground support,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “Ultimately, the ownership and management of every nursing (home) must take it on themselves to ensure their staff is fully equipped to keep residents safe. With coronavirus cases increasing across the country and infection control identified as a major issue, we encourage all nursing homes to take advantage of this no-cost opportunity to train their staff.”
The Mississippi facilities that participated in the training fare better than average for the rate of COVID-19 infection, signifying that the training is potentially translating to on-the-ground benefits for staff, and subsequently residents. Facilities that complete the free infection control course have a more than 10% reduction in overall resident cases, compared to Mississippi facilities that haven’t completed the training.
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