05.21.20

Gardner, Colorado Delegation Members Request Continued and Expanded PPE for Colorado Senior Living Facilities

Washington D.C. – In response to multiple COVID-19 outbreaks at senior living facilities across Colorado, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and the Colorado Delegation sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting that personal protective equipment (PPE) deliveries to these facilities be continued through June and July and expand which facilities receive these supplies to include assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities.

“Since the beginning of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, senior living facilities have been the epicenter of both outbreaks and deaths in Colorado and across the country. COVID-19 linked deaths in Colorado’s senior living facilities continue to be the single largest contributor to COVID-19 fatalities in our state, representing approximately 61% of total deaths. According to some reports, Colorado has experienced as many as 105 deaths in senior congregate living facilities in just one single week,” reads the letter. 

“Given the unique and devastating effects the COVID-19 outbreak has had on these facilities and the citizens they serve, we request that FEMA regularly continue delivery of PPE supplies to nursing homes in Colorado throughout June and July 2020,” continues the letter. 

The full text of the letter is available here and below: 

Dear Administrator Gaynor,

We write today to urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) to continue delivery of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) to senior living facilities in Colorado through June and July 2020, and to include assisted living residences and intermediate care facilities, in addition to nursing homes, in your distribution plans.

Since the beginning of the novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, senior living facilities have been the epicenter of both outbreaks and deaths in Colorado and across the country. COVID-19 linked deaths in Colorado’s senior living facilities continue to be the single largest contributor to COVID-19 fatalities in our state, representing approximately 61% of total deaths. According to some reports, Colorado has experienced as many as 105 deaths in senior congregate living facilities in just one single week. 

We understand that FEMA is delivering two rounds of PPE to Colorado nursing homes on May 18th and again the following week. We greatly appreciate this much needed support, and we thank you for your efforts to expand the availability of PPE to our seniors and front-line workers who support them. Given the unique and devastating effects the COVID-19 outbreak has had on these facilities and the citizens they serve, we request that FEMA regularly continue delivery of PPE supplies to nursing homes in Colorado throughout June and July 2020. It is also critically important to expand the criteria governing which facilities receive these supplies to include assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities, which also care for Medicaid enrollees, because they too have faced staggering infection and death rates and are in desperate need of these resources. 

We understand the immense task before you and FEMA as you work to ensure all communities have the resources they need to combat this crisis, and we appreciate the supplies you have distributed to Colorado thus far. Thank you for your consideration, and we request an immediate response to this inquiry.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.