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Arizona leaders write letter to care facilities asking for COVID-19 info

Posted at 7:36 AM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 10:36:55-04

PHOENIX — Four Arizona representatives sent letters to nursing facilities Tuesday, asking them to independently provide coronavirus case information.

Representative Ruben Gallego tweeted a copy of the letter Tuesday afternoon, saying: “Transparency is key when it comes to protecting some of our most vulnerable populations. We sent a letter to every Arizona nursing home today asking them to release their COVID-19 data publicly.”

The letter, signed by Gallego, as well as Reps. Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick and Greg Stanton, mentions the Glencroft Center for Modern Aging. That facility made the decision to publicize confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths among its residents and staff members.

The letter to Arizona care facilities reads: “The information is incredibly important to understand trends in infection location and spread, assess the disproportionate burden on nursing homes, and identify the best practices and what additional support is necessary to prevent the virus’s transmission at facilities such as yours.”

MAP: Known coronavirus cases, deaths at long-term care facilities in Arizona

It also notes that “a nursing home in Washington State sparked the first known COVID-19 outbreak in the United States in February,” and that the case numbers within nursing facilities across the country are alarming.

“Maricopa County has indicated the 2 out of every 3 COVID-19 deaths in the county are residents of long-term care facilities,” the letter states.

The Trump Administration reportedly implemented a rule for facilities to report weekly cases dating back to May 8, however the letter asks the facilities to report their cases since the pandemic began.