Massachusetts nursing homes continue to struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks

Massachusetts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of nursing homes in Massachusetts have reported COVID-19 outbreaks.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced $130 million in funding for nursing homes to support Covid-19 response efforts, while at the same time holding them accountable. Nursing homes have been the hot spots for Covid-19 outbreaks across the country.

At Massachusetts’ 386 nursing homes, more than 10,000 people have tested positive. They’ve also reported more than half of the state’s Covid-19 deaths. The Department of Public Health has an updated list of Covid-19 cases at long term care facilities on their website.

The Senate is considering a bill that would provide them with more specific information. Right now, the state only lists online whether a nursing home has fewer than 10 cases, between 10 and 30 or more than that. This bill would require them to submit daily reports to the DPH, and they would have to include the exact number of cases and deaths.

“We know that 50 percent of the individuals who died from Covid have come from these facilities,” State. Rep. Carlos Gonzalez of the 10th Hampden District said. “And it’s important we get the data that we get the in order to address and support, support the owners of these facilities.”

Gov. Baker’s second round of funding will pay for staffing costs, infection control and personal protective equipment at nursing homes until at least the end June. The funding is dependent on the conditions that the facility completes regular infection audits, and has all residents and staff tested for Covid-19.

Gov. Baker said they’ll offer temporary staffing assistance to all nursing homes in need, and that includes the deployment of the National Guard.

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