WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) have issued a letter to the National Governors Association asking for stronger state support regarding lab processing and personal protective equipment in long-term care.
“With the major spikes of COVID cases in many states across the country, we are very concerned this trend will lead to a dramatic increase in cases in long term facilities,” states the letter. “Recent independent research by Harvard Medical School, Brown University’s School of Public Health and University of Chicago showed the level of COVID cases in the surrounding community was the top factor in outbreaks in nursing homes.”
The letter warns of major outbreaks on the way, and outlines three ways states can assist long-term care operators to prevent and control those outbreaks.
- Direct state public health agencies to expedite lab processing time and a solution for on-site testing with reliable and rapid results.
- Direct state public health agencies to provide additional support on PPE supplies – especially N-95 masks.
- Direct state public health agencies to work in close coordination with long term care providers on reopening facilities to visitations.
“With major spikes in cases in several states as well as significant upticks in many counties across the country, we are very concerned about reopening many long-term care facilities,” continues the letter. “In order to protect our residents and caregivers, state public health agencies must work closely with long-term care providers to ensure they have the supplies, testing and staffing to reopen safely.”