NewsCovering Kern County


New guidelines for nursing homes for COVID-19 case reporting

Posted at 8:06 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 11:06:28-04

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Trump administration has announced new guidelines requiring nursing homes nationwide to report to patients, their families and the federal government when they have a case of coronavirus.

The White House is calling long-term care facilities "ground zero" for the public health crisis, with nursing homes nationwide confirming 7,121 deaths, according to an Associated Press tally.

Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said during a Sunday evening White House press briefing that the new rules will mandate that nursing homes report cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said the moves are aimed at increasing transparency about the spread of the virus at facilities where populations can be especially vulnerable to its effects.

The reporting will assist federal health officials in collecting nationwide data and help with COVID-19 surveillance and response efforts.

Nursing homes in California have been particularly impacted, and Los Angeles County is home to more than half of the facilities in the state that have experienced outbreaks.

More than 140 care facilities in the country have reported one or more cases. One of the worst outbreaks is at the Brier Oak on Sunset facility, which reported that 80 residents and 62 staff members tested positive for the virus.

According to data from the California Department of Public Health, 258 locations across the state have reported one or more positive COVID-19 cases in residents or staff members.

Over 250 long-term care facilities in California reported positive cases. The state has more than 1,200 skilled nursing facilities.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, recently said she asked the state for more resources, including additional personal protective equipment and testing for nursing home employees and residents.