BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — One week after the Bedford County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing to discuss potentially selling the Bedford County Nursing Home to a private buyer, board members voted unanimously on Monday to continue operating the nursing home as a county department.

“This is why we have public hearings,” said Bedford County Administrator Robert Hiss. “The Board received impactful comments from the community and that feedback was important to them in their decision-making process. They listened and processed what they heard, ultimately making the decision to keep the nursing home operating as a county department.”

At the public hearing on Monday, April 18, officials say the supervisors listened as 22 people voiced their opposition to the proposed deal, citing the nursing home’s long history in the community, as well as concerns about maintaining the facility’s quality environment.

Supervisors were reportedly exploring the idea of selling the nursing home due to a number of concerns, including the complex regulatory environment surrounding nursing homes; staffing shortages over the past couple of years; and the COVID-19 vaccine mandate that applies to nursing home employees, but not other county departments.

While the nursing home has a long waiting list for residents, officials say the facility is currently operating at two-thirds capacity due to a staffing shortage. In order to address this, Bedford County administration is currently working with the nursing home and human resources on a new hiring campaign for CNAs and LPNs, including a video public service announcement.

After the vote on Monday, April 25, the board members also discussed the idea of creating a committee of industry experts that would focus specifically on the nursing home, thus reducing the burden of these decisions for supervisors.

The Bedford County Nursing Home is reportedly the only nursing home in the Commonwealth that reports to a Board of Supervisors.

While no decisions were involving a committee, officials expect conversations about the nursing home to continue in the coming months.