The COVID-19 Pandemic was a tough time for assisted living centers in Yakima and throughout Washington State. Now the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living is requesting an extension of the United States' Public Health Emergency declaration, which is set to expire in a few weeks, so that long term and post-acute care providers can continue to offer the most efficient and effective care possible to what many call the nation's most vulnerable population.

The centers have sent a letter to the health secretary asking for the extension

The centers have written a letter to the US Health Secretary outlining the threat of a COVID resurgence in the United States due to the BA.2 variant and the "unprecedented challenges that the sector has endured as a result of the pandemic."
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living officials says the long term care sector has lost more than 400,000 workers since the beginning of the pandemic.

The current situation is unsustainable say health officials

CEO Mark Parkinson says "caregivers are burned out after fighting this virus for more than two years, and long term care providers are struggling to compete for workers due to fixed government reimbursement rates…The current situation is unsustainable, and simply put, we need help.” Parkinson is also calling on the federal government to prioritize long term care for access to urgently needed resources, such as COVID-19 testing and treatments.

The CEO says assisted living centers have learned a lot over the past two years

He says providers have faced ongoing challenges in accessing the tests and treatments needed to respond quickly to COVID outbreaks, even when residents are fully vaccinated.
“If we have learned anything over the past two years, it is that the elderly are among the most vulnerable to this virus, and therefore, deserve the greatest support and highest prioritization. Our caregivers have worked tirelessly day after day to protect and provide for their residents, and they need steady access to resources during this pandemic and moving forward.”

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