As of late Saturday (6/20), 1,380 deaths in Minnesota have been attributed to COVID-19 in a three-month period of time. While this has gotten immense attention in the press, this number needs to be put into perspective – 80% of those deaths have occurred to residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities.
This trend is not the result of an early spike. From June 13 to Jun 19, seniors in these community care centers accounted for 58 of the 78 COVID-19 deaths.
This past Friday, Sen. Karin Housley (R, Stillwater) spoke out during the final day of the Special Session of the Legislature to again emphasize the crisis in our long term care facilities. To view her speech, CLICK HERE.
“Instead of prioritizing action in long-term care settings, the governor prioritized free tests for protestors and a $6.9 million morgue... all based on a model he kept secret for months. Meanwhile, there's no end in sight to the loneliness and isolation many seniors are feeling.”
Housley argued that the governor should stop using his self-proclaimed emergency powers to maintain the complete isolation of residents of long-term care facilities – no visitors, not outside contact. Instead, he should immediately implement universal testing of all residents and staff. “Know where our outbreaks are. Let LTC residents receive visitors again if the visitor is negative for the virus.”
Sen Karin Housley voted Friday to eliminate the emergency powers of the governor. “If he wants to talk about extending those powers, he needs to step up and take care of our seniors. Until he does that, I'm not even going to entertain the idea of giving him free reign to do whatever appears to be in his best interest.”