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NY to require virus testing for nursing home staffers

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Posted at 3:50 PM, May 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-10 15:50:59-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/WKBW) — New York nursing homes must start twice-weekly coronavirus testing for all staffers and will no longer be sent COVID-19 patients leaving hospitals.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the policy Sunday after facing growing criticism over the handling of nursing facility outbreaks.

According to the governor's office, nursing facilities must transfer any residents that they are unable to properly take care of. Also, hospitals will not be allowed to discharge patients to nursing homes until they test negative for the virus.

Cuomo says any facilities that do not follow the guidelines will lose their license.

Last month, Cuomo along with State Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation of nursing homes as deaths were rising during the pandemic.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan issued this statement regarding the announcement after previously urging officials to expand testing:
“I thank the Department of Health for responding to my call to ensure all nursing home staff are continuously tested for COVID-19. We know seniors are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and nursing home fatalities continue to rise at an alarming rate. By testing all staff twice a week, we are protecting the health of everyone inside nursing homes and adult care facilities. Moving forward, the state needs to take all appropriate action to ensure this testing regimen is fully executed. I am also pleased to see that the Department of Health also responded to my call to ensure nursing home owners are held accountable. The new process to revoke operating licenses is a necessary step forward to ensure nursing home owners act in the best interests of residents and staff.”

Watch the full briefing below: