Lawmakers push for nursing home PPE distribution numbers

Lawmakers push for nursing home PPE distribution numbers

Twenty-one senators are calling on the Illinois Department of Public Health to release numbers related to the distribution of personal protective equipment at nursing homes.

In their letter, the senators asked the department to explain the process and the distribution levels of equipment to the 64 nursing homes where members of the SEIU Healthcare had planned to strike on Friday. The union announced Thursday morning they reached a tentative agreement with the Illinois Association of Health Care Facilities, an organization of nursing home and long-term care facility owners.

Along with how much equipment was requested, the senators are seeking how nursing homes are chosen to receive the equipment and how much they have received since the start of the outbreak.

“It is imperative we get more supplies to these facilities as soon as possible in order to save lives,” the letter said.

The department did not return a request for comment.

The senators said they have been hearing from workers concerned about equipment, training and working conditions during the pandemic. They also said they have heard from nursing home owners who have expressed concerns about the lack of supplies readily available, forcing owners to “vigorously” attempt to purchase supplies on their own for workers in their facilities.

The lawmakers did express appreciation for the work done so far by the department and Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration in responding to the pandemic.


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