The skilled nursing industry has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic since Spring 2020. With continuous vaccinations of residents and staff, nursing home are slowly re-opening their doors. Skilled Nursing News reports that occupancy rates can be near pre-pandemic rates by the first quarter of 2022 as stated by Rick Matros, CEO of Sabra Health Care REIT. Matros was quoted saying “sometime in the first quarter of 22, we will be either back to pre-COVID occupancy levels or pretty close.”
Over the course of last year, nursing homes have received millions of dollars in aid from the federal government from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Additionally, nursing homes are now slowly resuming services such as concurrent therapy. With restrictions slowly lifting, the industry is inching its way back to a pre-pandemic normal.
With the uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations, nursing homes are seeing lower infection rates among residents and staff. Matros reported “well over 90% of our facilities have no positive cases.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also eased rules and regulations for in-person visits and group activities. Matros believes this is “a leading indicator of census growth.”
Operators are hopeful and excited to see the industry slowly return to a pre-pandemic state.