California Needs Stricter Nursing Home Rules Now
Just did this post for the LA Progressive.
California’s Long-Term Care Facilities Need More Attention
Over the past six weeks, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has shown great leadership in ordering shelter in place requirements and ensuring that hospitals have adequate intensive care beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPEs) like masks, gowns, and gloves.
Newsom has focused on hospitals but released a new effort on April 10 to address the growing crisis for the state’s nursing home residents and residents in residential care/assisted living facilities. By April 10, he announced that over 191 nursing homes and 94 small residential homes have residents and staff with the virus. These residents of long-term care facilities (LTCs) are the most vulnerable population in the state to the COVID-19 virus because of their age combined with their chronic diseases and disabilities.
In fact, when it comes to LTCs, the California Department of Public Health has issued regulations that may make the coronavirus worse. Instead of taking on the industry, the Department has relaxed oversight, allowed nursing homes to cut staffing, and is even forcing ill-prepared homes to admit the sickest coronavirus patients. This is a recipe for disaster.