HARRISBURG – Residents of assisted living facilities and other long-term care homes would be better protected against disease outbreaks under a bill approved by the PA Senate. Senate Bill 1189 would require the state Health Secretary to ensure long-term care facilities to follow and implement disease prevention and control guidelines from the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  It would also require the Department of Health to ensure that no individual who has tested positive for a communicable disease within 14 days is placed in a facility without being placed in isolation. The Health Secretary would be prevented from forcing the admission of a patient to a long-term care facility without considering the ability of the facility to care for the patient. The need for the legislation was magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Orders from the Department of Health mandated that older residents who tested positive for COVID-19 were returned to nursing homes. About two-thirds of all COVID-19 deaths in PA were residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Senate Bill 1189 was sent to the House.