BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State officials are launching an investigation of nursing homes as deaths in elder care facilities mount amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the investigation Thursday during his daily briefing and said he would take action with State Attorney General Letitia James to crack down on nursing homes where the disease is spreading rapidly.
"Nursing homes are our top priority, and we will investigate any nursing home that violates the law," Cuomo said on Twitter.
Nursing homes are our top priority, and we will investigate any nursing home that violates the law.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 23, 2020
By law, nursing homes must:
-Have adequate PPE
-Isolate COVID residents
-Temp checks for staff
-Separate staff for COVID residents
-Notify residents/family members of positives
Children and families of nursing home residents have told horror stories of not being able to see their loved ones before they die and of not being notified by nursing homes about the deaths.
The State Health Department only recently released data about nursing home deaths after intense public pressure to do so.
The Erie County Health and Human Services committee is also pushing for more transparency when it comes to nursing home deaths.
"If they do not have the ability to provide the level of care, they have to transfer that patient, or the Department of Health will transfer that patient," Cuomo said at his briefing. "That is how the relationship works. The state has strict guidelines on privately run facilities."