May 18, 2020

Cortez Masto, Rosen Cosponsor Legislation to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) joined Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) in cosponsoring a bill that would provide $20 billion to help states, nursing homes, and intermediate care facilities contain the spread of COVID-19. The Nursing Home COVID-19 Protection and Prevention Act would support state efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in congregate settings, including through the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing, and to provide nursing home workers with premium pay, overtime, and other essential benefits.

“Nevada’s nursing homes need more support to implement the safety measures necessary to care for patients and prevent the outbreak of infections,” said the Senators. “This legislation will give nursing home residents and their loved ones the peace of mind that Congress is doing all we can to ensure that nursing and long-term care facilities across the state have the protective equipment, testing capability and workforce they need to safely operate through this pandemic.” 


COVID-19 poses an immediate threat to the more than 1.3 million Americans who live in nursing homes. States, nursing homes, and other facilities are implementing strategies to slow the spread of coronavirus, including separating residents with COVID-19 from those who do not have the virus and creating ‘surge’ teams of health care providers who are called in to assist when a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in a facility.

The Nursing Home COVID-19 Protection and Prevention Act would:

  • Provide $20 billion in emergency funding for staffing, testing, PPE and more;
  • Require HHS to develop guidance on cohorting best practices, including on how to safeguard resident rights;
  • Instruct HHS to collect and publish data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes and intermediate care facilities; and
  • Fund surge teams of nurses, aides, and other critical staff to fill in at facilities where multiple residents and staff members have been infected.