Pennsylvania Health Department Sets Nursing Home Target: 80% by October 1

Pennsylvania set an October 1 target for 80 percent of nursing home staff in the commonwealth to become fully vaccinated. It’s a goal that just 12.5 percent of the state’s skilled nursing facilities have reached so far, according to Department of Health (DOH) Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter. Those unable to meet the target must subject their employees to more frequent testing according to DOH and “appropriate regulatory action” will follow if facilities don’t comply. About 72,000 residents live in 692 state-run nursing homes. LeadingAge PA, the organization that represents more than 380 of these long-term care facilities, is strongly encouraging all its members to mandate vaccination for staff. The state long-term care ombudsman said, “We have an ethical imperative to do this. They’re counting on us.”