Response to COVID-19 in New York’s Long Term Care Facilities Requires Continued Partnership with Federal and State Leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement on the ongoing health crisis at long term care facilities in New York State due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA and NCAL:
“The COVID-19 pandemic in New York and across the country has presented unprecedented challenges for all health care providers, especially those caring for an extremely vulnerable population in long term care facilities.
“We sincerely appreciate Governor Cuomo’s leadership and his administration’s work during this difficult time. He has led the state and inspired all New Yorkers.
“Our health care workers at nursing homes and assisted living communities are undertaking heroic work on the front lines of the pandemic, caring for a population with a high degree of seniors with underlying health conditions, and they are counting on all of us – from the public to private sector.
“The reality is that many long term care providers are facing an unprecedented situation that has left them begging for testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and staffing resources. Just like hospitals, we have called for help. In our case, nobody has listened.
“More than 70 percent of providers are unable to find sufficient masks, gowns and face shields to protect our health care workers. And lack of timely testing in long term care has forced providers to rely on a symptoms-based approach, which provenly will not prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and his administration, but now is the time for New York’s leaders to rally around long term care residents and caregivers just as they have appropriately done with hospitals.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the nearly 5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our facilities each year. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.