By Bob Katzen
The House approved and sent to the Senate legislation that would require long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, elderly housing facilities and the Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke to report daily to local departments of health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and residents’ families and guardians the number of known COVID-19 positive cases and mortalities among residents and staff at the facility. DPH would make the data available on its website and update it daily.
“Our long-term care facilities, assisted living residences and elder housing are the epicenter of this public health crisis,” said sponsor Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton). “Those with loved ones in these residences, and the larger community, are understandably alarmed … It is our hope that with transparent reporting, the necessary testing, personal protective equipment and staff support will be made available to these facilities.”