Ky. lawmakers meet to discuss impact of COVID on child care, long-term care

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 11:30 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers met Wednesday afternoon to hear various concerns about the impact of COVID-19.

Facilities that care for Kentucky’s youngest and oldest are in jeopardy because of the pandemic.

Some believe the impact of COVID-19 is worse than the virus itself.

“We are getting to the point where the solution is causing more damage than the problem,” said Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah.

That comment came after a child care association director told lawmakers that nearly half of the facilities in Kentucky are in danger of closing.

“There was a range, but the majority of them said by November 1 they would have to consider closing their doors because of the financial impact,” said Bradley Stevenson, Child Care Council of Kentucky.

Most of that is because of a rule limiting capacity.

Some lawmakers believe the governor needs to lessen restrictions.

“But I am calling on the governor to remove that,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester. “I think this committee reviewed it, from administrative regulations committee as well, but found it deficient here. We don’t do that very often.”

Officials from Alzheimer’s and long term care facility associations both said the impact of COVID-19 has been tough on both residents and staff, with Alzheimer’s making up roughly half the long term care residents.

Lawmakers were told that isolation policies have resulted in further deterioration for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents. Leaders say Kentucky has some of the highest numbers of deaths in long term care compared to other states.

“Although Kentucky has been successful in keeping the infection rate and death rate down for the general population, we have not been successful as far as our elders in long-term care,” said Betsy Johnson, Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities.

Johnson said when they saw the storm coming, the health cabinet did little to warn or help them.

The Child Care Association director told the panel that he fears 11 to 15 percent of the daycares may have to close their doors permanently.

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