Bill calls for nursing home inspections, COVID-19 testing for all residents

Proposed bill calls for nursing home inspections, COVID-19 testing for all residents

BRIGHTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — More than 60 people in three nursing homes in Beaver County have died because of COVID-19, and a local lawmaker is calling it a critically urgent situation.

Rep. Robert Matzie, D-Allegheny/Beaver, just introduced a bill that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Health to step in and immediately inspect all long-term care facilities, assess each facility’s infection control procedures, provide testing for every resident and worker, and record and report all findings to the public.

Matize said he introduced the bill because he had growing concerns, especially about Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County, where he said the coronavirus is spreading and the death toll is mounting.

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"The number just continues to rise at this individual facility. You can't make statute on one facility, so my bill would basically tell the Department of Health that they have to do inspections of all nursing homes, and obviously if you're doing it right, that inspection should last a relatively short amount of time. But if you're not doing it right then steps need to be taken to ensure folks that live in those facilities, the residents, the family members, have peace of mind that everything's being done, up and up.," Matzie said.

Right now, the bill is under consideration by the health committee.

Meanwhile, a class- action lawsuit alleges Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center has performed drug experiments on patients. Matzie is asking the attorney general to investigate.

Channel 11 reached out to Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and was told no administrator would comment and we were referred to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Changes in state’s criteria for testing could make difference for families with residents in nursing homes