Screenshot: Axios

The federal government needs to provide more oversight when it comes to monitoring nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) told Axios' Mike Allen on Thursday during an Axios digital event.

What Casey is saying: "Tens of thousands of people are dying in nursing homes without an action plan, which has to start at the federal level — the administration and Congress doing more to combat this problem."

  • More than 36,000 people in nursing homes have died from complications of the coronavirus.
  • Casey said the action plan should include more resources and funding for testing, protective personal equipment, and hiring more nurses, doctors and certified assistants at nursing homes.
  • Casey, who has introduced legislation to create and fund such a plan, said, "That would include new reasons for Medicaid and because of that, there is a lot of Republican resistance."
  • An aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an email that "coronavirus legislation Congress has passed addresses this issue and nursing homes just received $4.9 billion."

The feeling of isolation is also negatively affecting nursing home residents, according to Casey.

  • When visitors are allowed, "That resident feels that they are connected to someone. It breaks apart that isolation and at least reduces it.
  • "The family member or members, plural, becomes the eyes and ears of that person, if the care isn't good or if the resident has a question."

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Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

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Hotel crisis hits new milestone

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Labor Day weekend traffic might be a touch lighter this year, with hotel bookings down 65% compared to last year.

Why it matters: America's hotels are on life support as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and some 2 million jobs at stake.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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