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Katie Finn stays in virtual contact with her grandmother in nursing home.

Palm Springs Desert Sun

Plagued by some of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks, skilled nursing facilities in California will now be expected to do more to prevent the spread of infectious diseases from spreading thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday. 

AB-2644, which was introduced by Assemblymember Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, in February, aims to protect residents as well as health care workers by requiring additional staffing and increasing reporting requirements. It requires each facility to have a full-time staff member, or the equivalent, dedicated to infection prevention and control.

It also requires facilities to report each disease-related death to the California Department of Public Health within 24 hours, and requires the state tomake the total number of deaths available on its website weekly. 

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