April 13, 2020
Dear Governor Ducey:
Thank you for your recent and timely action to include virtual visitations for families with loved ones in assisted care facilities in your recent Executive Order on April 7th. Your leadership is critical during this time of crisis and prioritizing the safety of Arizonans who reside in assisted living facilities and nursing homes is paramount.
Many of AARP’s over 900,000 Arizona members have expressed concerns about the cases of coronavirus that have been found in our state’s long-term care facilities, despite the early measures taken by your administration to prevent such potentially lethal exposures. The most recent count indicates that there are 109 reported cases of Coronavirus in Maricopa County long-term care facilities alone.
What we do not know, and what Arizonans with family members in long-term care facilities are desperate to know, is which facilities have reported cases. We ask that the state make the names of these facilities available to the public.
While it is understandable that we should be cautious regarding privacy concerns, AARP suggests that HIPAA is specific to the privacy of the individual and does not apply to facilities.
Again, thank you Governor for your leadership during this emergency. I look forward to your reply and to working together to provide Arizona families and communities sufficient information to reduce anxieties and assist Arizonans in the tough decisions regarding the Coronavirus crisis.
Dana Marie Kennedy,
State Director AARP Arizona
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