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Proposal would require state to collect and publish nursing home COVID-19 data

Sen. Jean Breaux says families deserve information
Nursing Home
Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 17:26:15-05

INDIANAPOLIS— A proposal is moving forward that would require the state to collect and report nursing home data.

The Indiana State Department of Health launched a long-term care dashboard this past summer that shows COVID-19 cases and deaths broken down by facility, including residents and employees.

The dashboard came after months of reporting from WRTV Investigates regarding the lack of transparency on where COVID-19 outbreaks were happening.

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Senator Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, heard similar complaints and filed legislation that would require the state to report the information.

"I felt I needed to do something because I promised my constituents in response to all their concerns, yes it resulted in this dashboard, but now we're saying it's in statute,” Breaux said. “They can't just arbitrarily decide not to provide that information. They're now required to report that information and update it every seven days."

Senate Bill 292 would require facilities to electronically report suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infections among staff and residents, as well as COVID-19 deaths.

“There will be guaranteed information and guaranteed reporting for a couple years I would say,” Breaux said. “That’s a good place to start. I think this is a good starting point and it gets something that family know where they can get information for their loved one.”

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Other states have stopped reporting data because their state’s executive orders have expired.

Breaux wants to make sure Indiana keeps reporting COVID-19 deaths and cases, for this pandemic and for other public health crises.

Senate Bill 292 passed out of the health committee and now goes to the full senate for consideration.

Breaux credited WRTV Investigates for the state changing its tune and releasing the information to the public.

“Thank you, Kara, for shedding a spotlight on this,” Breaux said. “We can’t do it without the help of the media.”

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