Demand for workers at long-term facilities continues amid COVID-19 pandemic

BOSTON — More than 800 deaths have been reported at long-term care facilities. Residents are not only dying, but more help is needed to care for those living and being treated in these buildings. On Thursday, the state, in a tweet, encouraged people looking for work to apply at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been ravaged by the coronavirus. Many have left these jobs, but help is still needed.

Natalya Grankina of Brookline just graduated from nursing school and began her nursing career three weeks ago at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale, a long-term care hospital.

“I was finally realizing I'm a real nurse,” Grankina said when asked about her first day. “I couldn't believe that I was walking on the floor and I was allowed to serve these patients.”

There was no fear or hesitation in taking the job, she said.

“It’s kind of like, if you are going to be a nurse, when if not now?” she said.

A spokesperson for the Roslindale center said there are 96 confirmed COVID-19 cases there out of 455 patients.

Grankina is a new recruit, but staffing shortages are a state-wide problem said Tara Gregorio, President of Mass Senior Care.

“Until the government funds a ‘hero’s’ premium wage for our frontline staff, we will continue to struggle to fill shifts,” she said in a statement to Boston 25 News. “We therefore are advocating for funding to allow us to protect and invest in our staff and residents.”

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Governor Baker spoke with Boston 25 News at the Convention Center, which has been converted to a field hospital called Boston Hope. Gov. Baker said that the state has boosted funding.

“We've put in, over the last 10 days or so, about $130 million in financial support into our long-term care partners,” he said.

Gov. Baker added that it came with financial support for staff and signing bonuses.