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Northam changes position, releases nursing home virus data

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 17:26:44-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is releasing the names of nursing homes that have had a coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement reverses his earlier policy of withholding the information over privacy concerns.

Northam announced Friday that he is directing the Virginia Department of Health to release the names on its website.

He says the widespread nature of the pandemic makes it less likely that releasing this information would violate someone’s privacy or limit cooperation with a public health investigation.

Republicans blasted Northam, saying he had the legal authority to release the names much earlier.

Virginia Health Care Association-Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VHCA-VCAL) President and CEO Keith Hare released a statement regarding the governor's decision to release the data.

“This information shows what we have known for months, which is that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts seniors with chronic conditions and the dedicated staff who care for them," said Hare. "We know that full transparency and real-time, accurate data being made available will validate our calls for assistance that nursing homes and assisted living centers have been making since the beginning of this pandemic.”