At least eight caregivers at Oregon nursing homes have definitely died from COVID-19, the novel coronavirus which is causing the worldwide pandemic. This official count is a conservative number – when the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Studies made the announcement, they admitted that they were relying on nursing homes to inform them of COVID-19 deaths among their staff. Also, workers at assisted living facilities and adult day care centers were not included in the study at all.
According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 12,000 Oregonians work as caregivers to the elderly. The state has made no statement on the number of caregivers or other workers who have died of COVID-19, although the Oregon Health Authority has admitted that months after the pandemic exploded, supplies of gowns masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment are still not being adequately tracked and may be insufficient in many places. That being the case, it is likely that more will die soon.
John M. Burt