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Health secretary defends pandemic response in nursing homes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s health secretary is defending her agency’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak inside nursing homes and personal care facilities. They account for almost 70% of the state’s nearly 6,600 fatalities. Criticism has focused on the state’s policy that sent recovering patients back to nursing homes after being treated in hospitals. Levine’s agency has said it was following a March directive from the federal government that nursing homes admit anyone they normally would, including patients from hospitals where COVID-19 has been present. Levine says the main source of COVID-19 infections inside the facilities is more likely the homes’ own employees.

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