PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 23, 2020 


The holiday forecast calls for fewer cars on the road for Thanksgiving; dealing with racial impact of cap and trade.


2020Talks - November 23, 2020 


Trump campaign is running out of legal options as more states certify. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Nursing Homes Brace for Second Wave of COVID-19 Cases

Kentucky is one of 12 states nationwide where there is an alarming increase in COVID cases, especially among nursing-home residents and staff. (Adobe Stock)
Kentucky is one of 12 states nationwide where there is an alarming increase in COVID cases, especially among nursing-home residents and staff. (Adobe Stock)
November 19, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Coronavirus cases in Kentucky and across the nation are spiking at alarming rates, and new data from AARP show nationwide nursing home infections are no longer declining.

Advocates are calling for increased transparency, staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing.

So far, 1,095 long-term care facility residents and staff in the Commonwealth have died, totaling more than 65% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the state.

Sherry Culp, long-term care ombudsman for the Nursing Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, said facilities should start communicating now about how they'll help residents and families stay connected and safe during the holidays.

"So facilities need to be planning now for increased phone calls; increased video chats," Culp suggested. "They need to be preparing if someone wants to drop a holiday gift off to their mother."

Culp noted over the past four weeks, resident and staff cases have begun to tick upward.

Yet AARP's findings show in every state, nursing homes are experiencing shortages of direct-care workers and PPE, particularly N95 masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection.

Nationwide, more than 91,000 residents and staff have died from COVID-19.

She added community spread affects nursing-home residents, and stressed adhering to COVID-19 guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing can make a difference, especially for nursing home staff at risk of transmitting the virus as they go to and from work.

"Those are the kinds of things that I think there needs to be a lot of attention on right now," Culp urged. "It's what every Kentuckian can do to help preserve the lives of our nursing-home residents."

Eric Evans, associate state director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Kentucky, said there are actions federal and state lawmakers can take to prevent more deaths this winter, including providing more funding for regular testing, as well as increased oversight of facilities to ensure that discharges, transfers and in-person visitation follow safety guidelines.

"AARP urges elected officials to take action, combat this national tragedy, provide funding for nursing homes, PPE, staffing," Evans emphasized. "To really stop this, we really think that Congress should act now."

Evans also pointed out since the start of the pandemic, sparse data has been available on the scope of the crisis in nursing homes.

He said AARP's COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated monthly to provide four-week snapshots of the virus' infiltration into long-term care facilities across the country.

Disclosure: AARP Kentucky contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - KY