Nursing Home Industry Urges Federal Relief, Masks and Social Distancing as Holidays Approach

Nov 18, 2020

Credit Wikimedia Commons

As cases of Covid spike across the country, they have hit a record high in nursing homes.

The industry is urging Congress to pass a Covid relief bill focusing on nursing home residents and workers -- and urging all of us to do our part too, especially now.

Mark Parkinson is the president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. “We are particularly concerned with Thanksgiving right around the corner,” he said. “People have got to be responsible over the holidays -- wear masks, socially distance, only celebrate with people that are in your households.”

Cases of Covid in nursing homes fell for almost two months through mid-September, but from that point through the week of Nov. 1, they are up 73%.

“If the public isn’t responsible, if people won’t wear masks and if people won’t socially distance,” Parkinson said, “we just can’t win this fight.”

Residents of long term care facilities account for only 8% of the nation’s cases, yet 40% of its deaths. “This isn’t just important to save lives in nursing homes,” he said, “it’s important so that we can keep nursing homes open to visitors and that our residents can see their loved ones.”