Ravenstahl votes to support Senior Protection Act

Bill would use $500M in federal funds to tackle coronavirus in nursing homes

HARRISBURG, May 20 – As nursing and long term care homes have emerged as epicenters in the coronavirus pandemic in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, today voted to support the Senior Protection Act, a bill that would use $500 million in federal funding to speed aid to beleaguered facilities.

“We moved swiftly and successfully to protect the public at large from the coronavirus by enacting public distancing and other measures,” Ravenstahl said. “Unfortunately, in communities across the state, where the virus did take hold was in our nursing and long-term care facilities, and tragically, to deadly effect.

“This bill would help fund a data-driven response to tackle our hardest hit communities, and to protect our most vulnerable populations. We all know what happened in Beaver County, and we must work to ensure that we are able to protect the residents – and workers – of other facilities.”

The Senior Protection Act, H.B. 2510, would encourage and fund private-partnerships between the state and some of its largest health care providers, including UPMC and Allegheny Health, to improve the quality of care at long term care facilities, and to administer and manage personnel, protocols, testing and expenditures to protect the seniors in these facilities.

As of Monday, Pennsylvania has had 3,731 deaths attributable to COVID-19. Of those 3,731 deaths, 2,552, or 68%, were citizens who lived in a nursing home or personal care home.