The state of Oregon is sending long-term care facilities staffing help as they respond to a surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant.

Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced an initiative Wednesday that will send nurses, paramedics and other health professionals to state long-term care facilities and hospitals throughout the state.

The state has contracted with medical staffing company Jogan Health Solutions to send 500 healthcare personnel to nursing homes and hospitals statewide. The move will cost the state about $119.6 million, according to officials. 

There will be a total of 10 long-term care crisis response teams made up of three registered nurses and five certified nursing assistants. The teams will ensure that facilities can maintain or build capacity, allowing them to admit patients following their discharge from area hospitals.

Officials are still determining specific positions that will be supplied and the locations where the workforce support will be deployed. 

Rosie Ward (Photography by: Craig MItchelldyer)

Rosie Ward, senior vice president of strategy for the Oregon Health Care Association, said the association is currently working with the state on solutions to address the workforce shortage and ensure seniors have access to the care they need.

“Right now, there is a workforce shortage crisis across all healthcare systems in Oregon, creating urgent capacity challenges that threaten the care and safety of those we serve,” Ward told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Thursday. 

“Oregon’s long-term care providers, including nursing facilities, are experiencing this crisis firsthand,” she added. “We support any efforts to increase the number of qualified and well-trained caregivers in our long-term care communities.”