How did Governor Wolf get the COVID-19 Nursing Home Response So Wrong?

May 3, 2021

The most recent data shows that just over half of Pennsylvania’s 26,000 COVID-19 fatalities were attributable to residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We have written about the Wolf administration’s epic mismanagement of the nursing home response in the past. In May of 2020, we noted:

Knowing that nursing home residents are nearly all over the age of 65, and have preexisting health conditions, you might think that keeping residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 out of those facilities would be the first thing that the Department of Health would urge. You might think that, but you would be wrong.

In a February, Lowman Henry pointed out:

The Cuomo Administration’s disastrous directive sending COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes, which housed those most vulnerable to the disease, was copied by a number of other states including Pennsylvania, where Governor Tom Wolf and former state health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine had stoutly defended the policy.”

Last week CAP CEO, Leo Knepper had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with Zach Shamberg, CEO and President of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. They discussed what Pennsylvania got wrong in its COVID-19 nursing home response and what changes need to be made to ensure that something like this never happens again. 

You can watch the video of that conversation below.