Health officials to increase testing at nursing homes to protect seniors

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – State health officials are increasing testing at nursing homes and long-term care facilities to protect our most vulnerable seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nursing homes in Massachusetts have seen some of the most severe impacts of this virus, and to cut down on the number of deaths in those facilities, the state is deploying more mobile testing units.

Just Tuesday, six new facilities were visited by a mobile testing unit and more than 500 residents were tested for COVID-19. But despite all of the state’s efforts to protect elderly residents, there has still been a spike in cases at these facilities.

“There’s no question we have a high degree of spread in our nursing home facilities, many of our nursing homes are old nursing homes,” Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders responded.

Even with the old infrastructure at Massachusetts nursing homes, separate wings have been set up inside the buildings to house COVID-19 positive residents. This move will help to mitigate the spread among other residents at these long term care facilities.

The House passed a bill Tuesday calling for more data collection at these nursing homes.

Lawmakers now want to see exact numbers of positive cases and death rates instead of just a range.

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