Back in the early days of the pandemic, Colorado’s nursing homes were among the first to be ravaged by the novel coronavirus. It was clear that the elderly were more vulnerable to the virus but critics also blamed inadequate testing, a lack of treatment options and a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for failing to save more lives.
Then, testing at facilities ramped up, researchers discovered better treatments and nursing homes began acquiring more PPE.
But a new report by Colorado Public Interest Research Group, or CoPIRG, found those same facilities are now experiencing major shortages of PPE, just as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. The report characterized the problem as worse than earlier on in the pandemic and revealed shortages of masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection, among other supplies.
"It's maddening to think that we are so far into this pandemic and we're still struggling to get the kinds of critical supplies to some of our most vulnerable populations,” CoPIRG’s Danny Katz said.