Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman John Katko (24th District of New York)
October 19, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) introduced the Keeping Seniors Safe from COVID-19 Through Home Design Act, a bipartisan measure that directs a study on how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Nursing homes in New York State and across the country have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, as tens of thousands of deaths have been reported in adult care facilities across the country. Katko’s bill would address the concerns of seniors and nursing home workers, by directing an interagency study on how home design can be optimized to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. The study would consider the potential advantages of updated HVAC systems, installation of hands-free sinks, and redesign of building layouts in protecting older Americans from highly contagious diseases.
“With more than 6,000 COVID-19 deaths in New York State adult living facilities, I am highly concerned about the transmission of COVID-19 amongst seniors. These tragic statistics highlight the urgent need for legislation to address the spread of disease in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” said Rep. Katko, who has consistently advocated for seniors living in adult care facilities throughout the pandemic. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to continue my work in protecting Central New York seniors. This measure will create a study to develop best practices in senior housing design to reduce the spread of highly contagious and easily transmitted diseases such as COVID-19. Combined with my past efforts to advocate for additional funding for assisted living and nursing home facilities, this bill will ensure we can limit the spread of highly communicable diseases in senior living facilities and reduce the impact of any future pandemic or public health crisis on our seniors.”
In Congress, Rep. Katko has consistently advocated for seniors in adult care facilities throughout the pandemic. He called for an investigation into New York State’s COVID-19 guidance to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In August, he advocated for additional funding to be allocated to nursing homes and assisted living facilities as they respond to the pandemic.