COVID cloud still hovers over Prairie View

By Per Peterson

The pandemic might not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days, but that doesn’t mean its impact isn’t still felt.

While mask mandates and shutdowns have thankfully gone away for the most part, some institutions are still dealing with the side effects of COVID-19. Accura Healthcare’s Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy is one of them.

Prairie View Executive Director Brian Hinrichs said COVID-19 continues to have lasting effects on facilities like Prairie View, as a constant change in restrictions has plagued the industry. He said the last few years has taken its toll on his staff.

“COVID has caused a lot of early retirements, as people have burned out in the industry altogether,” he said. “People who have been in the industry pretty much all their lives are done with it, they want nothing to do with healthcare.”

Hinrichs said already difficult positions have gotten even more stressful since the pandemic hit southwest Minnesota. The new normal, he said, has made it more difficult than ever to find and bring new employees on board.

“Imagine taking care of people always wearing an N-95 mask and eye protection all day — it gets taxing,” he said. “People coming in the door, making sure they’re screened in properly.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.