HARISBURG—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) will introduce legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Health to ensure all employees and residents in Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities are tested for COVID-19.
Long term care facilities serve approximately 123,000 residents with 143,000 employees.
“Sadly, the coronavirus has severely impacted our senior population in Pennsylvania and that impact is clear from the data surrounding positive cases and deaths associated with long-term care facilities,” Stephens said.
As of May 10, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that approximately 68% of all COVID-19-related deaths occurred in the state’s long-term care facilities.
Recent testing in another congregate care setting in Montgomery County showed 96% of thosetesting positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic.
“Allowing untested, asymptomatic healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents to continue having contact with one another allows the disease to be passed unknowingly between them,” Stephens said. Without testing, we will lose a generation of parents and grandparents.”
Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin have committed to testing all long-term care residents and staff.
“It is imperative that we understand the magnitude of this virus in the Commonwealth’s long-term care facilities so appropriate actions can be taken and resources may be deployed to protect our most vulnerable population and the caregivers on the front lines of this disease,” Stephens said.
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster