MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that nearly $18.3 million of the state’s coronavirus relief fund had been allocated to provide baseline testing and proactive surveillance of COVID-19 for both health care workers and residents at nursing home facilities across the state.
“During the pandemic, it is critical we take care of our seniors and most vulnerable residents,” Ivey said in a statement. “Some of our largest outbreaks of COVID-19 were within nursing homes and we must do everything possible to contain the spread within their walls. Protecting these vital members of the community, as well as the dedicated staff who take care of them, is precisely the intent of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.”
Alabama received approximately $1.9 billion of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to tackle the pandemic. Alabama Act 2020-199 designated up to $250 million of the relief fund to be used to support the delivery of health care and related services to citizens of Alabama related to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am extremely grateful to Governor Kay Ivey and her administration for supporting the ongoing testing of residents and staff in our facilities,” Alabama Nursing Home Association CEO Brandon Farmer said. “This virus is not like anything we’ve ever seen and has hit our nursing homes and staff exceptionally hard. I am relieved to know we will have assistance to contain the spread of this virus and hopefully be able to eliminate it from our nursing homes.”
In partnership with the state, the nonprofit group Alabama Nursing Home Association Education Foundation will administer the funds for all nursing facilities statewide. The group will also provide a skilled nursing facility COVID-19 testing strategy and screening protocols to rapidly detect cases of coronavirus transmission and prevent transmission of the virus.