Legislation sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) to require the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) publish statistics on COVID-19 infection rates in Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities has passed the House by a vote of 2020 to zero.
“The sad reality is that the coronavirus has severely impacted our senior population and from the data surrounding positive cases and deaths it’s clear our long-term care facilities are ground zero,” Stephens said. “People must know the infection rates at nursing homes so we can see which are operating safely and which are not.”
House Bill 2437 requires the PA Department of Health (DOH) to publish long term care facility-specific COVID-19-related data on their website, including the number of recipients and employees who have either tested positive for the virus, or died as a result from the virus.
Under the bill, facilities are required to report COVID-19-related data to and in accordance with the appropriate licensing department as they would report any other serious communicable disease.
The bill also requires the DOH to summarize the infection control measures taken in each facility to mitigate the spread of the virus in accordance with infection control and isolation protocols each facility currently reports to their licensing agency.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the DOH has reported that approximately 70% of all COVID-19-related deaths occurred in the state’s long-term care facilities.
“My bill would ensure residents of long-term care facilities and their families have the information necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Stephens said.
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