California Orders Nursing Homes To Accept People With Coronavirus
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
The California Department of Public Health is coming under fire for ordering nursing homes to accept people with the coronavirus.
The department of health has instructed California’s some 1500 nursing homes to ban non-essential visitors to protect its elderly residents from COVID-19.
But Monday night it issued a different kind of order.
The department directed nursing homes to accept people suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19, while taking “appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of the infection.”
Dr. Karl Steinberg, a nursing home and hospice medical director in North County, called the order reckless.
“What responsible healthcare provider would willingly put somebody who has this deadly, contagious illness into a place where it doesn’t already exist?" he asked. "To me, that’s essentially being an accessory to homicide.”
Steinberg said the directive sends the message that older people are dispensable and are not as important as the rest of the population.
The department of health did not respond to requests for comment.
San Diego County has about 100 nursing homes.
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