By Judy Woodruff, KQED/PBS, May 19 2020 California was one of the first U.S. states to see a significant outbreak of the novel coronavirus, but in the past few weeks, the curve of infection there has flattened. As a result, Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced plans to loosen some restrictions. He joins Judy Woodruff to discuss COVID-19 trends in his state, the data he’s using to make decisions and what he needs from the federal government.
The massive budget cuts proposed in the Governor’s May Revise are tragic, and represent the loss of services and assistance to millions of Californians when they need it most. The loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus is real and many budget cuts are undoubtedly necessary, but many of the cuts to services for frail seniors and the disabled leave them with few options other than nursing homes, which are responsible for over 40% of the COVID-19 deaths in California.
On May 18, 2020, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance seeking to perpetuate the extreme isolation of nursing home residents throughout the nation, perhaps for months or years to come. Declaring that “we are not at a point where nursing homes can safely open up,” CMS established reopening criteria that few nursing homes will ever meet, such as “no staffing shortages.” The guidance describes a three-phase process in which current visitation restrictions would not be eased until phase 3 after a nursing home has had no new COVID cases for 28 days and is not experiencing staff shortages. Short staffing is a primary reason to restore visitation, not to prohibit it.
CONTACTS: Patricia McGinnis, Executive Director, CANHR (415) 974-5171 firstname.lastname@example.org Pauline Shatara, Deputy Director, CANHR (415) 974-5171 email@example.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2020 San Francisco, CA – California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform will hold a press conference at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 via Zoom to announce their opposition to proposed cuts in home and community based services, the reinstitution of draconian Medi-Cal recovery policies and will call for reinstating visitation rights for family members of nursing home and assisted living residents who have not seen their family members for over two months.