Calls for stronger action to stop COVID-19 in nursing homes
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The coronavirus has taken root in nursing homes across the nation. The virus has preyed on fragile elders living in places like skilled nursing and long-term care facilities and taken a toll on the employees who take care of them.
In the united states, 50,000 people in nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly are dead from the virus.
In California, that number is more than 2,600 which is nearly half of all of California’s COVID-19 deaths.
The Advocacy Director for AARP in California blamed the surge in outbreaks and deaths on the lack of planning and a cohesive policy.
Blanca Castro with the AARP says every nursing home or care facility should be required to have regular testing and supplies of masks, gloves and protective equipment.
Castro said oversight is one of the biggest issues. Right now, nursing homes are on an “honor system,” responsible for reporting that they have the proper supplies and are complying with guidelines.
The advocate said state and local governments need to take a more active role by using ombudsmen or outside monitors to see how well health and safety protocols are actually being observed
Castro said if we want the response to this crisis to change, we should contact our federal state and local lawmakers and demand more oversight to keep our most vulnerable family members safe.