Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is pressing the Pennsylvania Department of Health on its shortcomings in protecting long-term care residents from COVID-19.
 
PennLive’s Wallace McKelvey writes:
 
“U.S. Senator Pat Toomey circulated a letter this week seeking answers to a variety of questions about the state’s response to the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes last spring.
 
“The letter, which was also signed by seven members of Pennsylvania’s GOP congressional caucus, comes after a pandemic which saw many COVID-related fatalities emerge from long-term care facilities. Meanwhile, the state House Government Oversight Committee is also looking into policy lapses that may have exacerbated the crisis in the state’s nursing homes.”
 
The full story is below.
 
Toomey circulates letter raising alarm about nursing homes, joins Casey oversight bill
PennLive
March 17, 2021
Online here
 
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey circulated a letter this week seeking answers to a variety of questions about the state’s response to the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes last spring.
 
The letter, which was also signed by seven members of Pennsylvania’s GOP congressional caucus, comes after a pandemic which saw many COVID-related fatalities emerge from long-term care facilities. Meanwhile, the state House Government Oversight Committee is also looking into policy lapses that may have exacerbated the crisis in the state’s nursing homes.
 
“We are interested in ensuring actions are being taken to prevent the mistakes from early in the COVID-19 pandemic,” Toomey’s letter reads.
 
None of the state’s Democratic congresspeople nor moderate Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick joined Toomey’s letter.
 
Since last year, Pennsylvania has struggled to meet the demand for testing, contact tracing and vaccines. State leadership has also been criticized for not moving faster to stem the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes despite the existence of a plan to do just that.
 
State Department of Health spokeswoman Maggi Barton, responding to points raised in Toomey’s letter, said state officials have worked with such facilities to ensure they have the information and resources they need to respond to COVID-19. She added that the department plans to make more detailed responses to Toomey’s questions available soon.
 
Toomey has also signed on as a co-sponsor to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s bill, the Nursing Home Reform Modernization Act, which would increase oversight and enforcement at the nation’s worst-performing nursing homes.
 

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