March 17, 2020

Warner And Kaine Press Coronavirus Task Force On Safety In Nursing Homes And Preparedness For Seniors, People With Disabilities

State officials announced a case of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Virginia today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined more than 30 of their Democratic colleagues to press the Coronavirus Task Force on their preparedness and response plans for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The Senators sent three letters to the Trump Administration regarding the safety of people living in nursing homes, the ability of seniors living in the community to maintain critical services including delivered meals and home care, and ensuring that up-to-date and accurate information is easily accessible to seniors and people with disabilities.

“As this pandemic continues to spread, the health of seniors and individuals with disabilities is increasingly at risk,” Warner and Kaine said. “It’s crucial that the Administration address the growing threat to our most vulnerable communities.”

In an effort to guard against the spread of the virus in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took the unprecedented step of directing states to suspend nearly all nursing home inspections and oversight unrelated to infection control or instances of abuse and neglect.

The Senators requested information on steps that are being taken to protect nursing home residents, staff, and their families. They also urged the Trump Administration to outline its plans for ensuring that older adults who receive services in their homes and communities through their local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, and other community organizations will remain safe from the virus, and to what extent the Administration is taking action to ensure that information about the virus is accessible to everyone, including people who are deaf or have limited English proficiency.

Read the letter on nursing homes here.

Read the letter on home and community-based services here.

Read the letter on accessible information for people with disabilities here.