Standing with her legislative colleagues in the bipartisan women’s caucus in front of the State Capitol with Governor Lamont at a press conference, State Rep. Kathy Kennedy (R-119) and the group discussed their work and findings on how COVID-19 has impacted nursing homes residents, their families and the nursing home front line healthcare workers across the state and to announce their recommendations.

The bi-partisan group of female lawmakers are keen on making sure all necessary steps are taken to prevent future outbreaks of COVID-19 or other viruses.

Two weeks ago, as a member of the Public Health committee, Kennedy signed a letter with other Republican members of the committee to the Governor asking that a small group be appointed to evaluate these issues and others that are related that would include a member from the DPH, several legislators, a representative from the SNF community, several caregivers (MD and APRN/PA) and a member of the public. This group’s goals would be to quickly assess what we have done correctly, incorrectly or incompletely to minimize further illness and loss of life.

“As a member of the Public Health Committee, and a community with some nursing homes that had loss of life due to the spread of COVID-19, I have taken this situation very seriously and stand ready to assist in any manner asked,” said Rep. Kennedy. “All loss of life is tragic, but statistics establish greater than two-thirds of Connecticut deaths from the virus have occurred in these facilities. All appropriate health and safety protocols must be utilized so no further spread of this deadly virus or a future virus will cost human life.”

The legislators unveiled steps that should be analyzed:

Testing protocols for employees as well as residence on an appropriately regular basis.

Ensure appropriate and adequate PPE supply going forward.

Evaluate the best manner to institute non-contact visitation policies so as to help all with social and mental health issues.

Ensure that our infection control policies are effective, and that the ongoing education is in place to ensure that these policies are followed in a just did as dictated by the clinical situation.

Accounting evaluations to assure that extra money from federal and state resources intended for COVID-related policies are appropriately used.

Ensure that there is an appropriate supply of trained caregivers should a second surge occur.

Last week, Governor Lamont ordered an outside review of how the COVID-19 pandemic has been handled in nursing homes and assisted living facilities with more than 2,800 of the COVID-19 deaths happening at these facilities.