Congresswoman Elaine Luria joined an effort calling on the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address the COVID-19 crisis occurring within nursing homes.

Luria said across the country there is a need for additional federal support and guidance for nursing homes dealing with the health crisis.

“I am deeply concerned about the health and safety of the residents and staff in nursing homes because they currently lack the resources to follow CMS guidance, including screening individuals entering the facility, notifying residents of positive tests, and access to PPE for staff members,” said Congresswoman Luria.

Statistics show that over 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes, and are among the most vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus.

Many of the facilities lack testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), and staffing to protect and care for elderly residents.

Nationally there are at least 9,800 nursing homes and long-term care facilities that have reported COVID-19 cases, and over 44,000 residents and workers have died from the disease.