State Watch

Cuomo orders biweekly coronavirus tests for nursing home workers

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Nursing home staff in New York will now have to be tested biweekly for coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Sunday. 

“This rule is not optional — it’s mandatory,” Cuomo tweeted. 

Nursing homes that do not follow health procedures will lose their license, he added in a subsequent tweet. 

“Remember: If a nursing home cannot provide adequate care, they MUST call the State Department of Health to transfer the resident,” he said. 

Cuomo has faced criticism over his response to the coronavirus outbreak in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state. 

“The way this has been handled by the state is totally irresponsible, negligent and stupid,” Elaine Mazzotta, a nurse whose mother died of suspected COVID-19 at a Long Island nursing home in April, told The Associated Press. “They knew better. They shouldn’t have sent these people into nursing homes.”

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey (R) also criticized the Cuomo administration for delaying a release of the number of deaths at individual nursing homes. 

“They should have announced to the public: ‘We have a problem in nursing homes. We’re going to help them, but you need to know where it is,’” McCaughey (R) told the AP. “Instead, they took the opposite tack: They hid it.”

The AP reported Saturday that more than 5,300 of the country’s approximately 25,000 coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes or assisted living facilities occurred in New York, which has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. 

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus New York Nursing home care

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