Congressman Panetta Reintroduces Nursing Home Strike Team Bill
Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) reintroduced legislation to provide immediate support to nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities across the country experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 cases. The Sending Outside Support Act, or the SOS Act, would authorize the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to allocate certain amounts of funding to states for the creation of strike teams of clinical and non-clinical staff to assist nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities with the management and treatment of COVID-19 outbreaks.
More than one-third of U.S. coronavirus deaths are linked to nursing homes. To date, over 136,000 residents and workers have died from COVID-19 at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities nationwide. Nursing “strike teams” have already been used with success in various states, including Maryland and Massachusetts, to ramp up care in locations that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases.
“As we have seen during this pandemic, residents and staff in nursing homes can be especially vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Congressman Panetta. “My SOS Act will provide federal funding for clinical and non-clinical strike teams to provide immediate on-site assistance to nursing homes in need. Although the nurses and staff in these facilities go to great lengths to keep those in their care healthy and safe, the severity and intensity of this pandemic demands that this type of legislation to provide federal funding for additional and necessary assistance and aid.”
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO), and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) are original cosponsors of the legislation.