As Stanislaus County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases from community spread, nursing homes and assisted living communities in the area are feeling the impact with high rates of infection and deaths.
Stanislaus County is fifth in the state for cases at skilled nursing facilities, with the California Department of Public Health reporting a total of 511 cases and more than 100 deaths for the county. On Friday, there were 159 skilled nursing facility residents currently testing positive for COVID-19.
As of Friday, the CDPH has recorded 21,716 COVID-19 cases among residents at skilled nursing facilities in the state, with 2,806 reported in the last 24 hours. Of the total cases, 3,666 residents have died from COVID-19.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released data showing that high community spread of COVID-19 cases is typically followed by a spike in cases at nursing homes and assisted living communities.
“With the recent major spikes of COVID cases in many states across the country, we were very concerned this trend would lead to an increase in cases in nursing homes and unfortunately it has,” stated Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. “This is especially troubling since many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are still unable to acquire the personal protective equipment and testing they need to fully combat this virus.”
In July, the Trump administration announced an initiative to provide rapid testing machines to every nursing home in the country, but the effort has been slow-moving and the agency now promises only to provide funding for an initial round of testing for nursing home residents and two rounds of testing for staff.
“The federal government has again dropped the ball on nursing homes and left seniors hanging – we were promised testing machines and kits but we’re still waiting,” said Rep. Josh Harder in a letter to the director of Health and Human Services. “We’re six months into this pandemic. There’s no excuse for how slowly the administration has moved to protect seniors. This is exactly why we should pass my bill to guarantee universal testing at nursing homes.”
Rep. Harder recently introduced the Nursing Home Pandemic Safety Act, which would guarantee universal testing for all nursing home residents and staff. The bill would establish a legal requirement that the Trump Administration provide testing to all nursing home residents and staff.
As of Friday, Stanislaus County has recorded 11,953 positive COVID-19 cases and 195 deaths.