AUSTIN, Texas — Texas nursing homes continue to be a hotspot for the coronavirus. More than half of the state's licensed facilities are reporting they’ve had at least one infection. According to state data, nursing homes residents also account for nearly 40 percent of the state’s total known coronavirus-related deaths.
The state has sent in special teams to try to slow the spread. This week, state officials also announced $9 million in federal funding will go toward helping nursing home facilities implement infection control projects.
But advocates for the elderly say not enough is being done to protect this vulnerable population.
"We need more consistent testing to protect the residents in these facilities. They also need adequate PPE because that's the best way to protect the residents if the staff are positive and don't know it,” said Amanda Fredriksen, AARP Texas Associate State Director of Advocacy. “We need more reporting about where active cases are occurring so that those facilities can get the support and so that the community knows where the virus is happening in their community."
AARP is also pushing for more virtual visitation options for families.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Fredriksen, including her group’s stance on granting limited liability protections to nursing homes.