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Kentucky lawmakers meet to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on day cares, long term care

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 5:07 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - The COVID-19 pandemic is causing massive problems for the child care industry in Kentucky.

That was among the testimony before a state legislative panel in Frankfort Wednesday. Kentucky lawmakers say day cares are hurting because of the restrictions and many are in danger of closing.

An interim panel of lawmakers on the Health and Welfare Committee was told that if Gov. Andy Beshear’s current restrictions are not let up nearly half, 43 percent, of child care facilities in Kentucky would have to close.

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

Bradley Stevenson of the Child Care Council of Kentucky addressed lawmakers remotely. He said since day cares reopened in June, many of them have struggled financially because of the restrictions to limit children.

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

He said a survey showed that many will have to close by November 1. Lawmakers say the restrictions and mandates need to be loosened.

“I think really the Governor needs to consider that when people represent the people around the state that acknowledge this is improper policy. I would call on him to lift that restriction because he still has it in place,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado.

The committee also heard concerns about the impact on long term care facilities. Lawmakers were told that isolation policies have resulted in further deterioration for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Leaders say Kentucky has some of the highest number 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 with Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities.

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

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