MARYLAND (WDVM) — As COVID-19 continues to affect the public, the Alzheimer’s Association Maryland Chapter is appealing to legislators to protect the vulnerable members of the community during the pandemic.

Advocating for increased resources, enhanced testing, and proper protective equipment, the association is working to help improve the conditions of long-term care facilities dealing with COVID-19.

Chapter director Cass Naugle says assisted care facilities are high risk because of many factors.

“About 50% [of COVID-19 deaths] are comprised of deaths in long-term care facilities.,” Naugle said. “The patient population meets all of the criteria for vulnerability.”

Naugle says closeness of the population, underlying health conditions, and decreased cognitive abilities can create a perfect storm of issues that could only get worse if not addressed.