Philadelphia, May 13 – On Tuesday Senator Street joined colleagues in the PA Senate to approve new funding of $500 million, a significant increase to the initial amendment to provide $200 Million in aid to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and Emergency Medical Service Providers allocated through the federal CARES Act. The measure passed the Senate unanimously and now heads to the House.
“There have been too many deaths in our nursing home facilities. It felt good to make progress and work in a bipartisan way to advance legislation to increase the initial amendment of $200 million to $500 million,” said Street. “These funds will primarily serve our most vulnerable populations in nursing home and personal care facilities as well as Emergency Service Medical providers. This will not be the only support but is a significant step in the right direction by my colleagues in the Senate and Governor Wolf.”
The initial confirmation of the coronavirus in Philadelphia nursing homes occurred on March 20th. Since that time almost all nursing home facilities in Philadelphia have experienced infection including 1800 seniors as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Thousands of residents and employees of more than 500 long-term-care facilities have tested positive for the virus, accounting for more than 66% of the commonwealths 3,800 coronavirus fatalities.
A Senate hearing last week revealed stark details of the rate of infection among staff and residents in PA facilities underscored by a lack of Personal Protective Equipment and capacity for testing, a failure of federal leadership that has been felt throughout communities in the commonwealth. Governor Wolf also recently announced Universal Testing for long-term care residents and staff.