The new requirement will provide nursing homes with funding for testing, PPE, staffing, and training.By Lisa Washington

WASHINGTON (KDKA) – There are estimates that four out of every ten coronavirus deaths are from nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

On Tuesday, President Trump issued a new requirement for nursing homes, mandating that they test staff on a regular basis.

Testing is now required to occur twice a week, weekly, or monthly depending on local factors such as an individual facility’s risk for COVID-19 transmission.

The Pennsylvania state health department numbers show there are 20,835 resident cases of COVID-19 in nursing and personal care homes across Pennsylvania.

Among employees, there are 4,428 diagnosed cases. That brings the entire total to 25,263. Out of the total deaths across Pennsylvania, state officials say 5,155 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

Nursing homes will also be required to test both residents and staff when there are new cases.

Facilities will be provided with $2.5 billion to assist with the expenses related to testing, personal protective equipment, staffing, and training.

Earlier in August, the Trump Administration announced a plan to provide every nursing home with a fast COVID-19 testing machine. There was fear that the government wouldn’t supply enough test kits to check staff and residents beyond a couple of rounds.

Tuesday’s announcement now says nursing homes will be given funds to help cover those expenses.

Read the full statement from the White House

PROTECTING NURSING HOME RESIDENTS: President Donald J. Trump is taking decisive action to protect vulnerable citizens in America’s nursing homes.

  • President Trump announced additional steps to keep our Nation’s nursing home residents safe from the scourge of the virus.
  • President Trump is now requiring all nursing homes to test their staff on a regular basis.
    • Testing will occur twice a week, weekly, or monthly, depending on local factors such as an individual facility’s risk for COVID-19 transmission.
  • Nursing homes will also be required to test residents and staff when there are new cases.
  • To make this required testing easier and less costly, the Trump Administration is providing point-of-care testing devices and an initial supply of test kits to nursing homes.
  • The Trump Administration will ensure that nursing homes follow through on their commitment to conduct this testing by inspecting for, and enforcing, compliance.

ENSURING NURSING HOMES ARE WELL RESOURCED: President Trump is ensuring nursing homes have the training and resources they need to safeguard the health of their residents.

  • To help States target nursing homes which need more support, the Trump Administration is providing States each week with a list of their highest risk nursing homes.
  • The Trump Administration is sending Federal strike teams to some nursing homes in hotspots in partnerships with States.
  • President Trump and his Administration have already shipped over 2 million point-of-care tests and over 5,600 point-of-care machines to the highest risk nursing homes.
  • In addition to funds already distributed, the Trump Administration is distributing $5 billion more in Provider Relief Funds for nursing homes.
    • The first $2.5 billion of these funds will be distributed this week to help many nursing homes cover expenses related to testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing, and training.
  • President Trump’s Administration is also actively monitoring supplies at every nursing home and sending 1.5 million N95 masks to those that have reported shortages.

SUPPORTING OUR SENIORS: President Trump has made it a top priority to protect the Nation’s most at-risk citizens from the coronavirus.

  • The Trump Administration has provided technical assistance and support to nursing homes and States throughout the pandemic, including onsite visits to higher-risk nursing homes.

  • The Trump Administration provided funding for increased inspections and provided every Medicare-certified nursing home with multiple shipments of PPE.

  • President Trump’s “Opening Up America Again” guidelines encouraged States to take additional measures to protect the safety of senior citizens and other vulnerable populations.

  • President Trump signed historic legislation that provides funding and flexibility for emergency nutritional aid for vulnerable Americans, including senior citizens.

  • At President Trump’s direction, his Administration dramatically expanded Medicare telehealth coverage, allowing beneficiaries to receive healthcare services from the safety of their homes.

Lisa Washington