SNF employees file staffing petition amid scabies outbreak

Employees at an Illinois nursing home have filed a petition against the facility's allegedly insufficient staffing levels as executives grapple with an outbreak of scabies.

More than 70 workers and members of Service Employees International Union Local 73 at the county-run Valley Hi Nursing Home in Woodstock, IL filed the petition on June 21 urging facility staff to address inadequate staffing.

The petition, provided to McKnight's by State Rep. Jack Franks (D - Woodstock), said the facility's nursing staff has been forced to complete work that's taken a toll on their health. This has increased the employees calling in sick and raised job resignations. The resignations have put additional strain on remaining staff, who said they have to work constantly.

“We are demanding that the management at Valley Hi utilize every resource available to bridge the gap in staffing levels until Valley Hi can hire new candidates for the many open positions,” the petition reads.

Administrator Tom Annarella declined to comment to the Herald about the petition, but maintained it was unrelated to the facility's current scabies outbreak. The facility is partnering with local and state health departments to combat the outbreak, and expects to lift visiting restrictions on Saturday, Annarella noted.

Franks told the Herald calls from families of residents at the facility first brought his attention to the outbreak and the alleged staffing inadequacies.

“As a result of the inadequacies and response of management, they have created a much worse problem for taxpayers and the employees,” Franks said.