PA health officials announce new plan to help nursing homes and long term care facilities fight the spread of COVID-19

Written by on May 13, 2020

PA health officials announce new plan to help nursing homes and long term care facilities fight the spread of COVID-19

By Tyler Pratt

May 13, 2020

Pennsylvania health officials announced a new plan Tuesday, May 12, to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and long term care facilities, WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports.

The state health department has come under fire by some for its handling of outbreaks at long term care homes. More than 12,000 of Pennsylvania’s nearly 58,000 cases are in those facilities. That’s about one out of every five cases. 

Health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says facilities will increase staffing, ramp up use of the national guard and get more PPE.

“Testing is another piece of our efforts and today we are announcing a robust  universal testing strategy for all staff and residents in these facilities,” said Levine.

Levine says facilities will use the tests to update housing plans for residents. Also known as cohorting — This means moving them into three zones — those who test positive, people who’ve been exposed and everyone else. 

The virus is currently in 540 long term care facilities across the state. Levine says Pennsylvania will release more data about cases in these facilities in the coming weeks.


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