Almost 17% of U.S. Hospitals Experiencing Critical Staffing Shortages

According to data posted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on Jan. 17 almost 17% of U.S. hospitals are reporting critical staffing shortages. The report, COVID-19 Reported Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity by State Timeseries, allows the viewer to configure the date, showing staff shortages by date and state. Becker’s Hospital Review reported on Jan. 18 that 23% of hospitals reporting staffing levels expect shortages in the next week.


Kan. Schools Declare Emergency—Ease Substitute Teacher Requirement

Because of severe staffing shortages during the COVID pandemic, substitute teachers in Kansas no longer need college credit hours, under an emergency declaration; according to the Kansas City Star on January 12, the Kansas State Board of Education temporarily removed the minimum requirement of 60 semester credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university. According to the Kansas City Star, the new rules for substitute teachers include: “candidates must: Be at least 18 years old; have a high school diploma (individuals with a GED are not eligible); have a verified commitment from a district for employment; pass a background check; and submit a completed application to the state education department.” The temporary measure expires June 1.


Calif. Government Saves Millions Letting Office Leases Expire Due to Workers Staying Remote

California’s Department of General Services, managing about 14.4 million square feet of leased office space for the state, plans to relinquish about 767,000 square feet of space, according to Governing on Jan. 12. The state projects a savings from these changes of $22.5 million annually. In addition, the state expects to reduce leased office space by 20% over the next three years, saving the state about $84.7 million each year.


Ohio Anti-Vax Doctor Wins School Board Race

An Ohio doctor, who testified to lawmakers this spring in support of legislation to ban any vaccine mandates—not just COVID vaccine mandates—recently won a school board race in Ohio. Dr. Elizabeth Laffay, a licensed doctor of osteopathic medicine, won a seat on the Huron City School District Board of Education, according to the Ohio Capital Journal on Jan. 14. Laffay operates the clinic, the Elite Wellness Group; the clinic’s services on their website include the “emotional freedom technique” and “infrared sauna.”


Other newsworthy items:

24 states must ensure healthcare workers are fully vaccinated by March 15, CMS says

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