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AARP Arizona,Statement on the Arizona Superior Court ruling

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Statement by Dana Marie Kennedy, State Director of AARP Arizona, on the Arizona Superior Court ruling (Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. et al. v. Arizona Department of Health Services et al.) to withhold information about COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities:

“The toll of COVID-19 in America’s nursing homes is a national disgrace. In the face of this crisis, nursing home residents, prospective residents, and their families deserve to know if a facility has experienced COVID-19 cases or deaths. Today’s ruling keeps Arizonans in the dark about the true state of our nursing homes and the health of their residents and staff.

“Publicly disclosing the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in a facility does not put residents’ or staff members’ privacy at risk. Instead, it allows residents and their families to make informed health decisions during an unprecedented time.

“While we are disappointed by the court’s decision, AARP Arizona will continue to fight for nursing home residents and their families, calling on Governor Ducey to prioritize testing for long-term care residents and staff, ensure all facilities have a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment prior to an outbreak, and require facilitation of virtual visits while in-person visitation is restricted.”

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