Fatal cases of COVID-19 at nursing facilities prompt new California law

With skilled nursing homes hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed a law requiring those facilities in California to report disease-related deaths to health authorities within 24 hours during declared emergencies.



a group of people that are standing in the grass: Patients were moved from Riverside's Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in April after staff failed to show up. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law requiring the reporting of deaths during health emergencies. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)


© (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Patients were moved from Riverside’s Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in April after staff failed to show up. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law requiring the reporting of deaths during health emergencies. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The law was written in response to concerns that health agencies were slow to respond to outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities because they did not receive timely information about them.

So far, more than 5,630 residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities in the state have died from COVID-19 — 36% of California’s fatalities from the coronavirus. The percentage “reveals the significant weaknesses in the reporting

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