Boston Globe: Full disclosure on deaths at nursing homes will take time, state officials say

New law mandates detailed reporting of COVID-19 cases but governor is moving to scale it back

By Todd Wallack and Robert Weisman Globe Staff,Updated June 23, 2020, 11:52 a.m.

State public health officials say they need more time to comply with a new law requiring them to provide the precise number of COVID-19 deaths and cases at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other senior residences throughout Massachusetts.

The Department of Public Health has so far provided limited data about outbreaks at the facilities, following pressure from the news media, lawmakers, and advocates.

bill sponsored by Representative Ruth Balser, Democrat of Newton, mandating that the state significantly ramp up reporting about long-term-care sites, was passed by the Legislature late last month and signed by Governor Charlie Baker early this month.

The agency said it hopes to provide additional data in “coming weeks,” but did not provide a date.

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