Contact: Lisa Sanders 202-508-9407

November 18, 2020 Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes.

“As the holidays approach amid the worst days of the pandemic, we trust aging services providers to heed existing visitation guidance and forge the best path forward for their own residents, clients, families and staff.

As today’s alert from CMS indicated, everyone needs to work together to take extra precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. While short of formal guidance, CMS provides recommendations on what nursing home staff, residents, and families should consider for the upcoming holidays.

The research is clear that community COVID-19 infection rates directly impact rates within nursing homes. That's why each provider, resident and family should look closely at positivity rates in their county to inform how they approach holidays next week and in the months ahead. The sad truth is that surges of COVID around the country mean that many nursing homes will have to curb or restrict family visits and in-house meals and celebrations.

This Thanksgiving could have been different. If community spread had been contained, older adults and the people who care for them wouldn’t be far from the people they love this holiday.

The sadness and pain of so many families this Thanksgiving should be a call to action. We need national leadership on masks, closures of public places, and other protections against spreading COVID infections.”

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: