COVID-19 numbers increase in nursing homes as they decrease in our communities

Up to the Minute

From the office of Assemblyman Cliff Crouch:

While our communities and state continue to face challenges brought about by the coronavirus, a new and alarming hurdle has presented itself in many of our state’s nursing homes. As hospitalization numbers in our communities begin to go down and talks about plans to open regions of our state pick up, deaths and COVID-19 cases in nursing homes around the state have been rising. We have seen Roughly 3,600 seniors die of coronavirus in nursing homes as of April 28, a number that is surely going to be higher in the coming months.

Many people, including myself, have been asking how this can happen? Wasn’t much of the state’s PAUSE initiative and the idea to shut down much of the nation done to protect societies most vulnerable? One major reason could be a policy that Gov. Cuomo signed off on back on March 25, which would make it so that nursing homes in New York state could not refuse patients that test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19.

That’s right, the governor and Dr. Howard A. Zucker, commissioner of health for New York state, adopted the policy of sending infected individuals into the state’s nursing homes. Now, in an attempt to put water on the fire and shift blame to facilities, the governor is launching an investigation to figure out why so many seniors have been dying in care facilities across the state.

Quiet frankly, I think the answer is right in front of his face. Sure, some facilities were very poorly prepared for the coronavirus outbreak but, frankly, so was our state and nation. To put infected individuals into nursing homes that are already understaffed and severely lacking protective equipment, is only adding fuel to the fire.

Overall, I think the governor in many aspects has handled the situation in front him quite well. I have always been one to give praise where it is due, but admitting sick individuals into nursing homes is frankly unacceptable. The governor and the health commissioner put nursing homes across the state in a bad situation when he mandated them to accept sick individuals. The practice should have never been implemented, and it should be put to a stop now, before there are any more lives lost.

Gov. Cuomo stop making nursing homes accept sick individuals. The state’s most vulnerable are counting on it.

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