Federal Government Announcements Offer Significant COVID-19 Relief and Support for the Senior Living Industry
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a private pay distribution from the CARES Act provider relief funds for licensed assisted living providers. Argentum, its members, and its association partners have been advocating for months for financial relief for the industry, which is caring for vulnerable older adults. Providers in the industry have seen and continue to bear staggering costs related to COVID-19.
"We are very pleased that HHS has agreed to allocate this relief funding from the CARES Act provider relief fund to the licensed private pay assisted living industry. It will go directly to supporting the communities that are on the front lines of the pandemic," said James Balda, president & CEO of Argentum. "We are grateful for the partnership of HHS, the President and the White House, and the bipartisan support we have received from members of Congress."
Argentum will continue to advocate for the urgent and critical needs of the senior living industry, including seeking priority access to a vaccine for those who live and work in senior living communities as well as priority access to rapid and accurate testing.
Recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a discussion draft regarding allocations of COVID-19 vaccines, which includes senior living residents and employees under Phase 1. This is a significant step in ensuring vaccine priority, but Argentum will be working closely with decision-makers to offer guidance on what an administration of vaccines needs to look like among senior living communities.
Additionally, an announcement was recently made that the federal government intends to prioritize assisted living in the distribution of point-of-care COVID-19 antigen tests. Argentum is pleased that this critical need has been recognized by HHS.
"We appreciate the federal government's prioritization of assisted living communities for these rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. Rapid and accurate testing is absolutely essential for communities serving vulnerable older adults, as those results inform critical operational decisions," said Balda. "We look forward to working with HHS and other decision-makers as plans continue to move forward."
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