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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 18, 2020 05:46 PM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate members
Subject: COVID-19 and Data For Nursing Homes and Personal Care Homes
In the past few days, it is evident that a large percentage of the COVID-19 deaths are occurring in our nursing homes, assisted living facilities and personal care homes across our Commonwealth.
Unfortunately, the number of deaths in these facilities account for more than half of the total deaths reported in PA.
Pennsylvania has 2.2 million citizens age 65 and older. Our state ranks 4th among all states in the percentage of residents age 65 and older as well as age 85 and older. We have approximately 700 nursing homes with more than 88,000 beds; and more than 1,200 licensed personal care homes serving approximately 46,500 residents.
It was only this past week that the Department of Health began posting on its website the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes and personal care homes, statewide and by county. As of today, it is reported there are 4,185 cases among residents; 462 cases among employees; and 459 deaths statewide, however, the data only references a total of 347 statewide facilities.
This lack of disclosure and reporting not only endangers the residents and staff but the whole community.  It is incumbent that our county and local health officials be provided details of the COVID-19 cases and deaths that are occurring with our most vulnerable population, and on a “real-time” basis.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.