ALBANY, NY- New legislation has been introduced this week aimed at protecting nursing home residents in the event that there’s a second wave of the coronavirus.
NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has the latest on the bill.
((Sue Serino, NYS Senator)) The fall’s coming. We don’t have a vaccine yet. So we have to be prepared.
Senator Sue Serino has new legislation that would require the state Department of Health to create a regional ‘step-down facility’ plan.
If a nursing home resident contracted COVID-19, went to the hospital and was later discharged, they would be sent to a ‘step-down’ facility until they’re no longer contagious with the virus, rather than straight back to the nursing home.
((Sue Serino, NYS Senator)) We definitely need a separate place and we need a plan now, we can’t wait, and we’re forcing this conversation.
Serino says it’s in part a response to the state’s order in March requiring nursing homes to re-admit COVID-positive patients. It was later changed in May.
The State Department of Health released its own report over the summer that found the March directive was not a key driver in nursing home deaths.
But, the Department of Health has not released the data on the number of nursing home residents who contracted COVID-19, and died in hospitals.
Those were counted as hospital deaths, not nursing home deaths.
((Sue Serino, NYS Senator)) We have to be prepared. And in order to move forward, you have to know where you made mistakes so that they can be corrected, and this information is so important.
Serino also has legislation to mandate that the DOH post comprehensive reporting on that data.
And, she’s sent a letter along with Senator Tedisco to four senate majority chairs to subpoena the
DOH on the nursing home death data.