Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
October 21, 2020
RHINEBECK, NY – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19), along with Reps. John Katko (NY-24), Max Rose (NY-11), and Ann Kuster (NH-02), announced the introduction of the Keeping Seniors Safe from COVID-19 Through Home Design Act. This bipartisan legislation directs a study on how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Specifically, the bill would require the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) to examine housing features, such as updated HVAC systems, motion sensor sinks, and expanded outdoor spaces, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in adult living facilities. The study would also include information on how these changes could be covered under federal housing assistance and mortgage insurance programs.
“Nursing homes in upstate New York have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreaks we’ve seen in adult living facilities across NY-19 and our country are heartbreaking. In addition to increased financial assistance and access to testing, it is critically important that we determine what safety improvements can be made to protect our loved ones,” said Rep. Delgado. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill, which takes the necessary steps to address housing safety measures and stop the spread of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable populations.”
In April, Rep. Delgado, along with colleagues in the New York Delegation, sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging support for emergency funding for nursing homes. In May, Rep. Delgado joined a multi-Member effort calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release billions of dollars in funding to long-term care facilities after repeated delays. Following Rep. Delgado’s push, HHS distributed overdue funding for nursing homes. Additionally, Rep. Delgado recently voted in support of the updated Heroes Act, which includes $500 million to send professionals to nursing facilities within 72 hours of three residents or employees being diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19.