Statement From Tara Gregorio, President of Massachusetts Senior Care Association

April 10, 2020

The continuing rise in the number of cases among the 38,000 frail elderly and disabled residents under our care is devastating to our residents, families and staff who are courageously battling the most horrific pandemic in our lifetimes. Together with the Commonwealth and hospital partners, we must redouble our efforts to support and protect our nursing home residents and staff in three very simple, actionable ways:

1) Expand routine COVID-19 testing to include both symptomatic and asymptomatic residents and frontline staff;

2) We must immediately protect our caregivers and thereby the residents they care for by ensuring that all frontline staff have the necessary personal protective equipment, including masks, gowns, eye shields and gloves; and

3) We urgently need emergency funding to immediately pay a “hero” wage to our frontline staff and hire an additional 12,000 workers to join us in fighting to protect our residents against this insidious and devastating virus.

The COVID-19 virus is relentless and we are pleading for the tools we need to win this battle.