Across Oregon, deaths from COVID-19 have been concentrated in nursing homes, where at least 68 people have died. State regulators on Tuesday suspended the license for Healthcare at Foster Creek, a Portland nursing home, which has reported 28 deaths and 117 people testing positive for the virus.

This terrible issue will require both new policies and additional resources and investments to address the growing needs of Oregon’s most vulnerable older population. In particular, we are most concerned about the well-being of individuals living in adult residential care homes (ARCH), assisted living, adult foster care homes and nursing homes. Unless constant special care and attention is paid to these environments they can easily become breeding grounds for the virus.

The time to act is now. Please fill out the form to send a message to Governor Brown asking for immediate action. The most impactful letters are personal, so feel free to include why this issue is important to you.

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Would you feel safe living in a nursing home now?

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing today because more needs to be done to protect older adults living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult foster care homes. It's unacceptable that more than half of Covid-19 deaths have originated in facilities that are licensed to take care of our oldest and most vulnerable Oregonians. We ask the state to mandate not suggest quality control initiatives during this or any other pandemic:

1. Testing: All nursing homes need to provide testing for residents and staff and a plan must be in place to isolate positive cases.
2. Reporting Cases: The state must release on a daily basis positive Covid cases in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
3. Transfer/Discharges: Family or caregivers must be notified if there is a transfer or discharge from a long-term care facility
4. Virtual Visitation: Residents must be given the opportunity to communicate with family, friends and caregivers virtually.
5. Staffing: Nursing homes must provide adequate staffing at facilities or notify the state of a deficiency. Staff who are sick should be provided paid sick leave and told not to enter the facility.
6. PPE: Nursing homes need adequate personal protective equipment and educated on how to use it.

Please direct the Oregon Health Authority to take these initiatives today.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]