LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Like hospitals across the bluegrass, long-term care facilities are experiencing their share of staffing shortages amid the omicron variant of COVID-19.

“This is where the biggest battle was fought, was in long term care, so certainly people are tired, we are trying to do everything we can to be creative and attract new staff and certainly keep the staff that we have,” said Karen Venis the CEO of Sayre Christian Village.

Venis said several residents and staff members have tested positive for the Coronavirus and are in quarantine. A vast majority they said can be traced back to community exposure.

“The whole state is in red, these facilities are in red too, so to think that it is not going to affect us is really just not a thing right now,” said Venis.

The Kentucky Association of Healthcare Facilities said not allowing visitors right now to slow down the spread is simply not an option.

“Which we believe is a good thing, because we know that our elders need that community, they, need to see their loved ones, their grandchildren, their sons, and daughters,” said Betsy Johnson.

Johnson said that can be tricky.

“It is a large responsibility to take care of a very vulnerable population and we are dealing with family members who want to see their loved ones, there is a lot of emotion involved and sometimes people, unfortunately, do not make the right decisions,’ said Johnson.

Getting vaccination rates up and new staff members is now the assisted living facility’s top priority.

“I think that this is probably what our new normal will look like, and people that have a passion to do what we do, they are still out there. They are going to make their way to us and hopefully, we will be fine,” said Venis.

The CEO of Sayre said they received an uptick in applications for nurse physicians and they are hopeful of fulfilling those roles.