Cuomo Claims He Didn’t Know About New York Rule Forcing Nursing Homes To Accept Elderly With COVID-19

Cuomo Claims He Didn’t Know About New York Rule Forcing Nursing Homes To Accept Elderly With COVID-19

On March 25, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an advisory for hospitals to discharge elderly patients with COVID-19 back to nursing homes. The advisory was built to combat alleged discrimination of those diagnosed with coronavirus.

At a briefing on Monday, when Cuomo was asked about admitting coronavirus patients to nursing homes he claimed he was unaware of New York’s rule.

“It’s a good question. I don’t know,” Cuomo said.

We’ve said from the start that protecting our most vulnerable populations including people in nursing homes is our top priority and that’s why the State acted quickly and aggressively to issue guidance specifically for these facilities on testing, infection control, environmental cleaning, staffing, visitation, admission, readmission, and outreach to residents and families,” said New York Public Information Officer Jill Montag. “The Department will continue to work with administrators of private and county nursing homes to do everything possible to protect the health, well-being and privacy of the residents who call these facilities home.”

New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zukcer reiterated Cuomo’s point and told the New York Times nursing homes are not permitted to “discriminate” against coronavirus patients.

“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to [nursing homes] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” the advisory reads.

According to the New York Times’s latest analysis of the coronavirus, the disease has plagued nursing home and elderly care facilities in a disproportionate manner, killing upwards of 10,500 residents and staff in such facilities nationwide. That’s nearly one-fifth of the U.S. coronavirus death total.

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities alike are struggling to protect their employees and residents from the coronavirus because they lack adequate protective equipment. Many facilities are also short on staff, which require staff members to interact with more patients, both healthy and ill.

California and New Jersey joined Cuomo in instituting rules that force nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients.

On Sunday, during a routine press briefing on coronavirus, Cuomo claimed nursing homes are not forced to care for coronavirus patients, which runs counter to New York’s state guidelines. Cuomo suggested nursing homes call the state Department of Health if they wish to transfer a patient.

“A nursing home can only provide care for a patient who they believe they can provide adequate care for. If they cannot provide adequate care for a patient, they must transfer that patient,” Cuomo said.

According to the New York Post, New York elderly care facilities are getting little help from New York’s Department of Health.

“There is no way for us to prevent the spread [of coronavirus] under these conditions,” the head of Cobble Hill Health Center, Donny Tuchman, told the New York Post. “I made specific requests to transfer patients, and it didn’t happen. There weren’t options.”

We’ve said from the start that protecting our most vulnerable populations including people in nursing homes is our top priority and that’s why the State acted quickly and aggressively to issue guidance specifically for these facilities on testing, infection control, environmental cleaning, staffing, visitation, admission, readmission, and outreach to residents and families,” said New York Public Information Officer Jill Montag. “The Department will continue to work with administrators of private and county nursing homes to do everything possible to protect the health, well-being and privacy of the residents who call these facilities home.”

Chrissy Clark is a former staff writer at The Federalist. She has work featured in The Daily Signal and received a degree in political science from Michigan State University. Follow her on social media @chrissyclark_.
Photo Flickr/Creative Commons
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