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Sen. Chris Murphy to discuss protecting nursing home residents during COVID-19 outbreak

Murphy and AARP officials are calling on Congress to pass legislation to help provide long-term care facilities with protective policies and funding

HARTFORD, Conn — The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many across the country with the number of cases rising to 4.5 million with over 160,000 deaths by the end of July. 

Sadly, nursing homes were deeply impacted by the illness. 

Senator Chris Murphy will join other officials and AARP Connecticut on Friday for a teletown hall, discussing the crisis taking place in these nursing homes and long term care facilities. 

According to Sen. Murphy, more than 59,000 nursing home and other long-term care facility residents and staff, including nearly 3,000 in Connecticut, have died of COVID-19. The total number makes up roughly 40% of the country's death toll.

Sen. Murphy said time is running out for Congress to pass a bipartisan COVID-19 response package.

 AARP said they are also continuing to call on Congress to pass the response package with dedicated funding and five key policies to protect those living in these nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. 

Those policies include:

1.    Ensure regular, ongoing testing, and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

2.    Create transparency focused on daily, public reporting of cases and deaths in facilities, communication with families when loved ones are discharged or transferred, and accountability for how billions of dollars in federal funding is spent.

3.    Require access to facilitated virtual visitation.

4.    Provide better care for residents through adequate staffing, oversight, and access to in-person formal advocates, called long-term care ombudsmen.

5.    Stop attempts to provide blanket immunity for long-term care facilities related to COVID-19.

You can listen to the teletown hall live on Facebook.com/AARPCT, vekeo.com/AARPConnecticut, or by calling 833-946-1529.