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AARP Arizona Director To Congress: Nursing Homes Need COVID-19 Plan

Dana Marie Kennedy
Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
editorial | staff
Dana Marie Kennedy of AARP of Arizona moderated the panel discussion about homeless seniors in 2019.

AARP is calling on Congress to improve conditions in long-term care facilities. On Thursday, the US House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Care held a hearing about the state of long-term care facilities.

Lawmakers heard from a panel of aging experts, including one from Arizona.

Dana Marie Kennedy is the state director for AARP Arizona. She called on lawmakers to implement a five-point plan to slow the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. 

"In Arizona assisted living facilities still report they don't have adequate PPE. This is 15 weeks after not allowing families to visit and this is unacceptable. Testing is also not available or happening in many nursing homes and long term care facilities. In Arizona, skilled nursing facilities have done one round of tests of staff and residents and do not plan to do any more preventative testing."

Kennedy also testified that assisted living facilities, which do not receive federal dollars, have yet to do any testing. She said the only way to protect residents and staff is to have regular testing. 

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.