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Cuomo Changes COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

May 11, 2020 By Christian Murray

Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to have reversed course on his past ruling requiring nursing home operators to readmit seniors who have been treated elsewhere for COVID-19.

Cuomo, on March 25, ordered nursing homes to readmit seniors who had been treated at hospitals and other facilities for COVID-19.

Yesterday, Cuomo said nursing home residents now must test negative before they are allowed back into their nursing home facility.

Cuomo had been subject to much criticism for his March 25 directive. While nursing home patients are kept separate from the rest of the residents—many argue that it has put other seniors at risk. Some say that nursing homes don’t have the space for COVID-19 patients to be properly isolated.

His critics say that his policy—requiring readmission—added to the number of fatalities at nursing homes.

Cuomo said that this new directive was not a significant change of policy, since nursing home operators have always had the ability to transfer residents elsewhere if they believe they couldn’t provide the necessary care.

Cuomo also announced an additional requirement to increase safety Sunday. All nursing home staff must undergo increased testing.

“Today we’re taking additional steps to protect residents of nursing homes,” Cuomo said. “All nursing home staff must now be tested twice a week. That’s not just a temperature check. That is a diagnostic test.”

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