FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 7, 2020
Jamie Harding, 205-470-1265, JHarding@aarp.org, @jhardingAL
AARP Alabama Statement on State Allocation of $18.27 Million
for Nursing Home Coronavirus Testing
MONTGOMERY—AARP Alabama State Director Candi Williams issued the following statement today in response to the announcement by Governor Kay Ivey on CARES Act Funding for nursing home coronavirus testing:
“We thank Governor Ivey for announcing today that $18.27 million in federal CARES Act funding provided to Alabama will be used for testing staff and some residents in Alabama nursing homes.
“To date, approximately 40% of all COVID-19 deaths in Alabama have been residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. While $18.27 million in funding is a good first step, it is a tiny fraction of the total $1.9 billion in funding provided to the state under the CARES Act. Families, residents and staff must be given the details of how this federal funding will be spent to address the pandemic.
“Long-term care facilities in Alabama are responsible for the health and safety of more than 23,000 individuals, along with those providing care. With their safety in mind, AARP continues to call on the Governor to stem the loss of life and protect nursing home residents by:
· Providing for regular testing of all residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and ensuring all facilities have and correctly use personal protective equipment (PPE). There are no plans or funding for regular mandatory testing of all residents and staff. This announcement also does not address sufficient PPE, staffing, infection control, and other necessary measures to ensure the wellbeing and safety of residents and staff.
· Requiring public reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths daily. The Alabama Department of Public Health is still not releasing daily public reports on the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths by facility. Transparency and real-time data are necessary to protect residents, staff and surrounding communities.”
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About AARP AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.