Sen. Gonzalez Chairs Hearing About Nursing Homes and COVID-19

June 10, 2020

Sacramento, Calif.- Today, California State Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D- Long Beach) will chair the second hearing of the Senate’s special committee on Pandemic Emergency Response. The focus of today’s hearing is Skilled Nursing Facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some of our most vulnerable Californians are living in nursing homes, and COVID-19 has spread through many facilities in an alarming and deadly way. Many nursing homes were cited repeatedly for infection prevention deficiencies and had inadequate staffing before the pandemic. The longstanding deficiencies in many nursing homes, coupled with inadequate COVID-19 testing and PPE, have had devastating consequences for many residents. More than forty percent of the COVID-19 deaths in California are associated with skilled nursing facilities and we need to continue making changes to better address the needs of those who are seeking care in nursing homes. This hearing is meant to provide a forum for a detailed discussion about how we can address these deficiencies and prepare for a resurgence”, explained Senator Lena Gonzalez, Chair of the Senate’s Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response.

“Our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how residents and staff in California’s skilled nursing facilities can become vulnerable in an outbreak,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “Now, with hindsight to help guide us, the Legislature must exercise our oversight responsibilities to examine what worked, what needs improvement, and how we can best protect the health and safety of residents and staff.”

“Health care professionals have worked heroically under extremely challenging conditions to protect the lives of their patients during the COVID-19 crisis. It is clear that California must do a better job of supporting the needs of patients, the workforce, and the nursing home and assisted living providers to better address the current crisis and to prepare for the challenges of the future. This is a bipartisan issue that requires bipartisan action, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to address these needs as quickly as possible.” – Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Vice Chair of the Senate’s Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response.

The Agenda and Background paper for the hearing and background information are available on the committee web page.