Governor Walz Visits The Homestead at Maplewood Amid Omicron Rise

Governor Walz Visits The Homestead at Maplewood Amid Omicron Rise

January 5, 2022

On Tuesday, January 4, Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and MN Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm spoke with the media at The Homestead at Maplewood to highlight the hard work being done by National Guard members who have stepped in to relieve staffing pressures brought on by COVID-19.

As Omicron cases surge through Minnesota, members of the National Guard have been working with Maplewood Care Center and other senior and assisted living facilities in the state to fill in while certified nursing assistants are being trained.

During the news conference, Maplewood Senior Living Executive Director, Zachary Schmitz, told the audience, “It’s been just a consistently week-by-week staffing challenge … And that’s kind of how it’s always been. Maplewood Care Center has had help over the last several weeks from a team of Minnesota National Guard members trained to serve in long-term care facilities across the state.”

Schmitz called the National Guard’s help, “a great relief, especially over the holidays.”

Though the percentage of severe illness cases is lower with Omicron than it has been with other COVID-19 variants, the quick spread has caused major capacity issues for hospitals and long-term care facilities such as Maplewood Care Center

For the full MPR News article, click here.

To read Volunteers of America National Services’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.